Jump to content

Welcome to Nightly.Net
Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!

- - - - -

Facing the Giants of Science

Posted by NumberSix , 13 October 2009 · 418 views

Just got back from the Vogue, one of Indianapolis' most well-known clubs, where the amazing colossal They Might Be Giants performed this very Tuesday, October 13th, 2009, in support of Here Comes Science, their latest project and fourth children's album, now available at Amazon.com. Opening act was an Irish folk-pop duo called Guggenheim Grotto, who excelled at what they do for those who like that acoustic thing that they did.

(Ignoring the final vagued-up clause, that should be just enough keywords to catch some local Googlers in the Inter-nets. Welcome to Nightly.net! I am the resident envoy for the TMBG-loving silent minority. Thanks for stumbling across us by accident!)

This was my third TMBG show, and I'm not tired of seeing them yet. Their songs are many and varied enough, and their shows aren't simply clockwork rundowns of their most overplayed singles (and even those that appear in every show -- cf. "Istanbul" -- are legendary enough to bear repeating), so every concert is a new experience. As I'd secretly hoped, this year's Indy stop included several great songs omitted from their last two Indy shows -- their great big hit "Ana Ng", the obscure cover "New York City", the clarinet-backed "Cowtown", and "Where Your Eyes Don't Go", which John Linnell claimed they had to "relearn" because they hadn't performed it in ages.

The set list included five tracks from Here Comes Science -- "Meet the Elements", "Science is Real" (according to John Flansburgh, the video for this evolution-endorsing track introduced them to the concept of "YouTube flaming"), "My Brother the Ape" (which arguably does the exact opposite for evolution in my mind), "What is a Shooting Star?", and my favorite new song, "I Am a Paleontologist", featuring what I'm pretty sure is bassist Danny Weinkauf's first time on lead vocals, but he blended right in and seemed to get a kick out of warming up the audience for his big moment. ("Are you ready to RAWK? Are you ready to RAWK...with CHILDREN'S SONGS?")

As usual, lead guitarist Dan Miller was stone-faced and loud and exhilarating all at once, rarely cracking a smile even when chanting the silly chorus to "The Mesopotamians", but spent a few numbers trying out some keyboards for a change of pace. Meanwhile, Marty Beller had to dash like mad from one end of the stage to the other, switching between two different drum kits as needed, with one stop at center-stage for "Shoehorn with Teeth", during which he played a set of hotel front-desk bells, one note per chorus. A horn specialist was also brought in for some sax, bass clarinet, and some weird bifurcated flexible woodwind contraption. I wish I knew its name and I wish I could remember his so I could give proper credit to that talented man, who even kept a sax solo in full swing while writhing on the floor like Marty McFly at the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance.

The group also proudly and shamelessly celebrated their recent Grammy Award (sayeth Flansy: "It's an honor just to win"), and provided an interlude in which the two Johns performed two (maybe three?) numbers with cheap sock puppets, leavened with visual-effects jokes at the expense of James Cameron's Elfquest Avatar and some awkwardness surrounding the arrangement of a backlit projector that kept marring the sock-puppet images with the shadows of Flansy's arms, no matter how much he moved himself or the camera around (remarked he in exasperation, "the Mystery Science Theater people won't go away!"). After the second and final encore, Flansy returned to the stage to hand out free -- yes, FREE! -- bumper stickers to the crowd. I got more than a little crushed by other bodies and had a hard time retreating while the crowd turned into what looked from a safe distance like a young-librarian dogpile. But we each got the privilege of touching a bumper sticker that Flansy personally handed to us. I can't argue with that.

Two encores later, the concert ended shortly after 10:30, I bought my souvenir (the DVD/CD Venue Songs set), left everyone else behind to their drinking and clubbing, and rejoined my mild-mannered normal world once again where no one in person shares my musical tastes. I'm up too late decompressing, refusing to let the night end, nursing my sore clapping hands, waiting for the tinnitus to stop (I'm guessing 'round Thursday if I'm lucky), anticipating how much damage my ankles probably took from all that pogo-ing, glad to be able to sit down and have all the free drinks I want, and wishing I'd had a single conversation with anyone anywhere all night long instead of staying a stranger amongst all those happy TMBG fans.

Regardless: still counting down the moments till next time.

Recent Comments

Search My Blog

Latest Visitors

  • Photo
    Jedi Cool
    04 Aug 2016 - 20:08
  • Photo
    25 Jul 2013 - 16:25
  • Photo
    27 Feb 2013 - 20:19
  • Photo
    27 Feb 2013 - 07:28
  • Photo
    Good God a Bear
    20 Dec 2012 - 19:31