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

They Might Be Giants - Music Hall of Williamsburg

by paul_guyet Rating:10 Release Date:2011-11-09

Can you think of one thing that is not improved by the presence of horns? The first things that occur to me are sex and funerals, but playing 'Taps' on a kazoo just feels undignified, and who doesn't enjoy a celebratory, post-coital blast on an air horn?

Straight to it then: this was, by far, the best of all They Might Be Giants' 2015 shows, hands down. Yes, it was maybe only 70-80 per cent rehearsed, but all was forgiven in the face of the variety and depth of the set. Aside from their first album, practically every album hence was represented fantastically in full-horned glory. 

Of the thirty-three songs performed that night, only four were done so without horns. It was an orgasm of horns. A horngasm. The horns in question, TMBG live staple, the Tricerachops Horns (consisting of Kurt Ramm, Dan "The Machine" Levine, and Stan Harrison).

Quick aside: Is four songs into the set too early for a drum solo? Not when it's Marty Beller holding the sticks. Sorry, wielding the sticks.

 Highlights included...the horns. The goddamn, mind-blinding horns and what they did to every song on which they were featured. Specifically their utilization on "Nanobots" (featuring Robot Flans, who did not like "The Martian", apparently), "Electric Car" (featuring the classic, brassy gusto of Robin "Goldie" Goldwasser), "S~E~X~X~Y" (featuring the full album version string outro performed with the horns), "Let Me Tell You About My Operation" (the Tricerachops Horns nailed their crazy little horn break beautifully), "Call You Mom", plus the live debut of "The Darlings of Lumberland", one of the most striking tracks They Might Be Giants has created in recent memory, and, for the first time this year, not one but two tracks from John Henry, "Dirt Bike" and "No One Knows My Plan", the latter a fan favorite.

In the case of They Might Be Giants, the horns aren't merely to enhance the evening, they serve as keys that unlock the music's full potential and that's what makes these rare occasions so excellent.

And what's next at the Music Hall of Williamsburg? Literally, the exact opposite: John and John and a remote controlled MIDI 4-track machine.

Viva le juxtaposition!!!


Hear "Hey, Mr. DJ, I Thought You Said We Had A Deal" and "Electric Car" from Horntoberfest.

They Might Be Giants will be touring the UK in early 2016! For dates and tickets, head to their Tour page.

Comments (4)

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You write so much about these guys, that I bought '50,000,000 They Might Be Giants Songs Can't Be Wrong' from my local store to see what the fuss was about.

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will report back soon......

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Enjoy the journey!

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Great review! These recordings are superb!!! Do you happen to have any more recorded? I would love to hear more songs from this show.

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