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- I Never Go To Work
- Clap Your Hands
- Eight Hundred And Thirteen Mile Car Trip
- Where Do They Make Balloons?
- Why Does The Sun Shine?
- Pirate Girls Nine
- Bed Bed Bed
- The Famous Polka
- Roy G. Biv
- Alphabet Lost And Found
- Fibber Island
- Particle Man
- In The Middle, In The Middle, In The Middle
- What Is A Shooting Star? (performed by The Avatars Of They)
- My Brother The Ape
- Alphabet Of Nations
- I Am A Paleontologist
- Doctor Worm
They Might Be Giants
Murray Theater in Murray, UT
November 7, 2009 at 3:30 PM
Fan Recaps and Comments:
- This was the first family show I'd ever seen. I didn't know what to expect, but my expectations weren't terribly high. I went to the show mostly because my family wanted to see TMBG and I didn't want to miss a two-night engagement. I figured that the kid-friendly and kid-song set would likely translate into less overall power and intensity, especially relative to the thermo-nuclear impact of the previous night's performance.
- I was right -- but not by much! What the show lacked in raw horsepower it more than made up for in fun and novelty. Hightlights included the Avatars of They video puppet show, Ralph Carney with his arsenal of brass and wind instruments, and generally tight renditions of favorites (e.g., The Famous Polka, Particle Man) and new songs (e.g., Danny Weinkauf's personal anthem I Am A Paleontologist). And there were some high-amperage moments throughout -- I saw more than one parent with very young kids retreat from the area just in front of the stage because they couldn't handle the sound and excitement. My new favorite song is Meet The Elements, which is a great live rocker in the tradition of Till My Head Falls Off and Experimental Film.
- The surprise of the show (for me) was Marty Beller's performance of Alphabet Lost And Found. I didn't know much about Beller before this and I guess I didn't realize how much "guest writing" had made it onto the kids albums. In any case, considering that this is a song about stuff like a chauffeur losing his "auffeur" and multisyllabic words getting emergency medical care, Beller takes it VERY seriously and the show got about 10 percent more interesting while he was in command. It was like watching Fred Schneider back in the heyday of the B-52's. Now that I think about it, Beller even kind of looks and sounds like Schneider. He frantically darted to every point on the stage in a sort of rock-aerobic performance-art piece. Without missing a word or note, he ran in circles all around the other band members and interacted with kids in the crowd before ending up prostrate in the center of the stage. It's a clever song in the first place and the crowd totally dug it.
- The new confetti delivery platform (which we now know is some kind of converted military surplus artillery) was deployed, although Linnell's cue to activate the high-volume confetti blower was apparently missed at least once. I had seen the shock and awe of the new TMBG confetti feature at the rock show the night before, but inside the tiny Murray Theater the effect was even more dramatic, and the confetti blower was fired twice. Scraps of mylar and crepe paper were strewn a couple blocks out into the town.
- Immediately following the show, as the crew was breaking down the stage, signed copies of Here Comes Science were sold for $20 and Flans handed out stickers. My family and I got a CD and we all got some stickers. I'm not one for hanging around after shows to talk to the band or get stuff autographed, but I'm always impressed with the lengths that TMBG goes to (especially Flans) to keep the fans happy. You would think that after two Grammys and more than 20 years of success, they'd relax a little, but Flans stayed in that stuffy theater at the edge of the stage for at least thirty minutes, bending over and putting a sticker into every hand, making sure everyone got one (or two, or three, or four).
- I tried to get a set list to complete my review, but the road crew preferentially gave these to moms, kids, and moms with kids in their arms, which seems fitting. However (back on the topic of confetti) I did have a chance to meet Iggy. Hardcore TMBG fans know who Iggy is, but my kids didn't, and I myself was only vaguely aware of him. I had heard him mentioned at shows and in live recordings, and I have seen his name on setlists. As we stood in line outside the Murray Theater before the show, we saw lots of crew members coming and going from the bus and equipment trailer, and I wondered aloud if one of them might be Iggy. When my older son asked me who Iggy is, I told him that Iggy is a shadowy, almost a mythic figure, mysteriously mononymous, often spoken of but seldom glimpsed. My family tried to humor me, but they failed to share my fascination.
- After the show was over, we made our way out of the theater, brushing confetti from our shoulders and clutching our precious freebie stickers. As we passed the soundboard, I saw an industrial-grade multi-outlet strip with "IGGY" scrawled on it in black Sharpie. I stopped my family and pointed this out, thinking that it would at least partially prove Iggy's existence. I said, "See, check it out -- Iggy!" Standing nearby was a small-built member of the road crew. He looked about 35 years old and he wore glasses, long reddish hair, and a TMBG ballcap. I knew this had to be Iggy.
- I said, "Are you... Iggy?" I hope I didn't sound too breathless or reverential.
- He cautiously admitted he was. Maybe he thought I was looking for him to complain about something -- it's probably in his job description to absorb such feedback.
- I asked him if I could shake his hand, and at that point he grinned. I told him we thought the new stage and effects were incredible, and he relaxed a little more and set down the bundle of cables he was holding. He told us that he had spent many many hours just designing the stage, not to mention getting it realized. Then there came a stream of technical details and roadie-speak about brand names and configuration that went straight over my head, but I told him we were all impressed beyond belief with the confetti. At this he shook his head with mild concern and confessed that the band is consuming confetti at a alarming rate. He said they have used more than 500 pounds of confetti this year alone.
- "That much confetti would last five or six years with the old cannon," he said. He went on to say that he had swung a super deal with a confetti supplier on the west coast, but the band burned through that stockpile in no time. He made it sound like global confetti reserves could become an issue for the band if this keeps up.
- This made a lot of sense to me because at the previous night's show, as we were being buried in confetti, I thought the blower might have gotten stuck in the FULL BLAST position.
- Again Iggy shook his head. "Nope. That's how Flans wants it."
- That made a lot of sense, too.
Doran L. Barton:
- I attended the show with Chadd and took some pictures. These can be seen at .
I made this set list during the show but can't for the life of me figure out how to edit the one on this page
I Never Go To Work Eight Hundred And Thirteen Mile Car Trip Where Do They Make Balloons? Why Does The Sun Shine? Pirate Girls Nine Bed, Bed, Bed The Famous Polka Roy G. Biv Alphabet Lost And Found Older Fibber Island Particle Man In the Middle, in the Middle, in the Middle What Is A Shooting Star? (performed by the Avatars of They) My Brother The Ape Alphabet Of Nations I Am A Paleontologist Seven introductions Doctor Worm
encore Meet The Elements Istanbul (Not Constantinople)