They Might Be Giants - Music Hall of Williamsburg - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

They Might Be Giants - Music Hall of Williamsburg

by paul_guyet Rating:8 Release Date:2012-02-10

Let's begin with the admission that I am completely spoiled. One of my very favorite bands lives within a 15-mile radius of where I live and, therefore, end up playing a whole lot of shows near me, so I get to see them a whole lot. That being said: this year, on the last Sunday of every month, They Might Be Giants will have a concert at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, a 10-minute cab from my home.

I plan on going to all 12. The first of these shows was on January 25, my birthday. Another bonus: for the majority of these, there is no opener; doors are at seven, TMBG takes the stage at eight and plays until just about 10. I showed up less than a half-hour before doors and ended up dead center, seven feet from Mr John Linnell's keyboard.

Now, onto the show: I hadn't seen They Might Be Giants since December of 2013, and I usually find that these shows, the 'first in a long time' shows, tend to be something special. TMBG had wrapped up their Nanobots tour at the end of 2013, and, aside from three or four special shows in 2014, had sequestered themselves in the studio, creating two new albums set for release later this year as well as (I assume) the bulk of their 2015 Dial-A-Song offerings.

On the whole, this was a fabulously well-rounded show, featuring a handful of live staples ('Birdhouse in Your Soul', 'Istanbul (Not Constantinople)' (featuring the Screaming Space Rock interlude)); some old favorites returning for the first time in a long time ('Spiraling Shape', 'Cyclops Rock'); brand new, never-performed-live songs, most from TMBG's recently resurrected Dial-A-Song service ('Erase', 'Music Jail, Part 1 & 2'); some newer live staples ('When Will You Die?', 'Hey, Mr DJ, I Thought You Said We Had a Deal'), and a few tracks I'd prefer to never hear again ('Damn Good Times' (with which they opened), 'The Mesopotamians')*.

Standouts included 'Cyclops Rock', 'Man, It's So Loud in Here' (which I hadn't heard in its pre-Mink Car arrangement since 1999 or so), 'We're the Replacements', 'Spiraling Shape', and 'Call You Mom'. Also the banter... Always the banter.

Special thanks to Kelly Potter and Gia Frisillo for lending me their photos of the evening.

Next month is their First Album Show.

* But, at least the Avatars of They appear to have been retired. They were funny the first five times but then... yeesh...

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