2004-09-12 : Geek rockers rockin!
Now, you'd think that since I had such a bloody marvellous time at the They Might Be Giants gig the other night that I'd have written it up straight away. Just didn't seem to get around to it, really. Now the I've got a minute though, I'll give it a shot.
When I got to the venue the support act had already started – a fairly inept rock accordian player called Corn Mo. It was hard to tell whether it was his playing that wasn't very good, or just that the techies had miked the accordian incorrectly ? Disturbingly enough, I've heard a few accordian players now and feel that I actually know what I'm talking about ! What he lacked in talent though he totally made up in enthusiasm – I've never heard a guy get into “We Are The Champions” the way Corn Mo did. Actually, the dude looked a bit like Nath Evers – I didn't get there early enough, so I wouldn't be able to verify whether or not he told any genie jokes).
[That's SOOO not going to mean anything to so many people…]
Anyway, the band came on. Man, that room had a great atmosphere. Crowded as hell, but everyone was in a top mood, and the band was in top form. Now one of the problems with my recounting of the concert will be that whilst I'm into the band, I'm not really REALLY into the band, so a lot of the songs they played, whilst I thought I'd heard before maybe, I've got no idea what they were. A lot of the material seemed to be from the new album, “The Spine”, and of course there were visits to all kinds of points in the band's 20+ year career. Fairly early in the piece they launched into one which I know from the Dial-a-song album, called “Older”, which just totally TOTALLY went off!
One of the problems with having a large nerd following is that they all seem to memorise every damn song lyric, and get really excited when you play one of those songs, because of course it's something that they know all about. So anyway, the two Johns (TMBG is essentially made up of John and John, and the band of Dans) had to use banter/linking material that wasn't a dead giveaway as to what the next song was, without completely giving away the title, because otherwise you'd get an army of nerds screaming and hollerin' in appreciation well before they'd gotten anywhere near starting. They didn't do so well with “This… is a song… about a segmented doctor”. “New York City” went quite off too – a couple of dudes standing near where I was had celarly adopted it as some sort of personal anthem, and went to great lengths to leap about like f*ckwits during the playing of this.
Partway through the show they stopped and talked about how they traditionally write a new song in honour of the venue they're performing in, so we were treated to a little country & western influenced piece about “In the Astor-i-ay”.
Another song was introduced as being a song that they have played so many times that if they had their heads cut off, the ir remaining brain stems would still know how to play this tune, which turned out to be “Birdhouse in your soul”.
Finally, after 2 encores, they got around to playing the song that I was really really hoping they might play (but not being a real die-hard TMBG fan I wasn't sure if it was something they still performed), “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)”. Hell of a way to get a crowd hyped up and going absolutely berko – you couldn't have finished the gig on a higher note.
Incidentally, the photo I've included above wasn't taken by me – I sorta “borrowed” it from this dude's website (hey, credit where credit's due !).