Article By: Ryan Bigham
You ever been to a concert, looked around, and noticed the one forty to fifty-year-old that was dragged there by their teenage son or daughter? They usually look lost, like a dog that turned around and noticed its leash came undone. Well, now I’d like you to imagine an eighteen-year-old lost in a crowd of forty-somethings. That eighteen-year-old was me, and I could not have asked for a better place to be lost in.
The situation was thus: They Might Be Giants were playing, and I was watching. TMBG is a band originally comprised of the two Johns, Mr. John Flansburg, and Mr. John Linnell. They are perhaps best known for two songs, Istanbul (Not Constantinople), a cover of a song by The Four Lads, and Birdhouse in Your Soul, which is not a cover of a song by The Four Lads. I find this to be an extremely sad fact, as they have many other songs that do exist, but yet people have never heard of.
Often times, their songs contain sardonic, comedic, or purely nonsensical lyrics, combined with a wonderful array of instrumentation from all branches of the instrument tree. Nowhere does this shine better than in their live performances. The energy they show is boundless, which is pleasantly surprising, considering they are also both fifty-somethings. The true enjoyment they have playing their music for an audience to hear is wonderful, and the crowd felt it too. It is, however, a little hard to sing along to every They Might Be Giants song, but I have nothing but respect to the man upfront singing every lyric to every single track, including ones off of their relatively recently released record, I Like Fun.
Specific highlights of the night included new songs, like All Time What and I Left My Body from I Like Fun, and some classics I was hoping to hear, like Ana Ng, Birdhouse in Your Soul, Dead, and Twisting. They even performed a Destiny’s Child cover, Bills, Bills, Bills.
To say the show was fantastic would be an understatement, but if I say any more, it’ll probably go to their heads.
If for whatever reason, you decide to give They Might Be Giants a shot, I think you’ll be happy you did so. If they’re ever back here in Boulder, I think I’ll take over for that guy in the front singing every lyric. I probably won’t be fifty though. At least, I hope not.