Concert Review: They Might Be Giants


May 23, 2010 at 12 noon
They Might Be Giants at The Regent Theatre in Arlington, MA

One of the many great images from Chris Devers' photostream on Flickr.

This is a long overview review for a fun and special concert which doubled as a benefit for Boston By Foot.  Family connections were involved as Giant John Flansbergh is son of Boston By Foot founder and president Polly Flansburgh.  Family connections were involved for me as well as I brought my son to this Family Concert for his first rock and roll show.  I actually saw TMBG as my second rock concert ever way back in 1991.  I was 18, so Peter is way ahead of me going to concerts at 2 and 1/2.  I thought Peter might be at the young end of the attendees even at a family concert, but in reality 6 years seemed to be the upper limit of the children’s age range and there were many toddlers and even infants.

Musically, a TMBG family concert is not all too different from the shows that they play for adults.  I like that they didn’t tone down the concert experience which included guitar and drum solos, screeching feedback, flashing lights and effects.  Some elements were specially targeted at the kids like confetti cannons that almost stole the show and a couple of songs performed by the two Johns as sock puppets called The Avatars of They.

The playlist came mostly from the bands excellent children’s albums No!, Here Comes the ABC’s, Here Comes the 123’s, and Here Comes Science.  Favorites included “Seven Days of the Week (I Never Go To Work),” “High Five,” and “I’m a Paleontologist.” They also played some songs off their “grown-up” recordings such as “Particle Man” and “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)” which blended seamlessly into the set. It’s interesting that the song “Older” can sound like a grim reminder of mortality for adults or a song about growing up for the kids.  It was a fun show and everybody got and boogied along with the music, or if they weren’t able to stand yet had a parent pick them up to dance.

Set List (via This Might Be a Wiki)

* Hot Dog! intro (On PA)
* Fibber Island
* Meet The Elements
* Bed Bed Bed
* I Never Go To Work
* Clap Your Hands
* Kids Go!
* One Dozen Monkeys
* Eight Hundred And Thirteen Mile Car Trip
* High Five!
* Why Does The Sun Shine? (Katharine Hepburn/Jazz Hands version)
* Pirate Girls Nine
* The Famous Polka
* Boston by foot rap
* Roy G. Biv (false start)
* Roy G. Biv
* Free Ride
* What Is A Shooting Star? (performed by The Avatars Of They)
* In The Middle, In The Middle, In The Middle (performed by The Avatars Of They)
* Free Ride
* I Am A Paleontologist
* Older
* Particle Man
* Graveyard
* Doctor Worm
* Istanbul (Not Constantinople)

Encore:

* Alphabet Of Nations

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