Sometime during the mid-nineties, my friend Michael let me borrow a They Might Be Giants CD of their 1990 album, Flood. I wasn’t too familiar with the band, but I had heard of them thanks to a few of their songs being featured on the hit show, Tiny Toon Adventures. I was told that if I liked those songs, I would love the rest of the album. It soon became one of the only albums that I could listen through from start to finish. After years of waiting, I finally got to see They Might Be Giants live for the first time in 2001, but they only played three songs off Flood at that show.
When I recently heard that they were on tour and would be playing Flood in its entirety with a horn section for the album’s 30th anniversary, I knew I couldn’t miss it; spoiler alert, I ended up missing half of it. I arrived at the show at 8 pm, which is when I was told it started. I walked into The Beacham on March 19, 2023 to what I thought was the intro to the show. I later found out this was a reversed video of their performance of “Sapphire Bullets of Pure Love” from their first set of the night, which I had unknowingly missed. Opening with “Memo to Human Resources” off their 2004 album The Spine followed by “Letterbox” from Flood, the band didn’t seem to miss a beat since the last time I saw them. The horn section was a great addition to the live performance, especially on songs like “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)” and “Your Racist Friend”, a song that is sadly still relevant today after thirty-three years.
After about nine songs, They Might Be Giants left the stage teasing an encore. I thought this was a little odd since, in my mind, we weren’t even halfway through the show. I actually started laughing, thinking they were joking. They returned to play the “Theme from Flood” followed by the classic “Birdhouse in Your Soul”, leaving the stage again only to return for “When Will You Die” off the 2011 album Join Us. This was when I realized that the band wasn’t joking, I had actually missed the entire first set and what I was seeing was indeed the final encore. When they started taking apart the drum risers, Mitch turned to me and said, “I don’t think they are coming back.” I had just bought a fresh beer as I was quickly ushered out of The Beacham so they could get ready for their weekly club night. Considering how much I was looking forward to it, this was a pretty anti-climactic ending to the night, but overall, it was a great show. Hopefully, I’ll be able to catch them in 2030 for the 40th Anniversary of Flood. Next time, I’ll be sure to get there as soon as the doors open.
They Might Be Giants Review by Trevor Bosmans.
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