My first They Might Be Giants Concert

In the late 1980s I picked up my first “The Might Be Giants Album” after hearing them on a local radio station. I found their music to be both fun and novel and I listened to them a lot. Eventually though, that was not enough, and I needed to see them in person!

This should not have been difficult, since New York City was just a quick bus ride away, but whenever I went in “The City”, I always liked to go with a friend or a family member. Sadly, try as I might, I could never convince anyone to go with me.  For some reason, these crazy people around me could not see how magnificent this band was.

Finally I had enough of waiting and in the late spring of 1990, I went and saw them by myself. I was of course convinced that I was going to get killed or mugged going to or coming from the Beacon Theater. I was not, but it was a hoof. 

The whole time I was at the show was wonderful.  They fans were really into the music and they played all the music that would come to be their greatest hits.  

According to They Might Be Giants Wiki. This was the set list for the night. I think you will agree, it was a pretty great show.

  • Intro
  • Lie Still, Little Bottle
  • Particle Man
  • Your Racist Friend
  • Someone Keeps Moving My Chair
  • Kiss Me, Son Of God
  • Lucky Ball & Chain
  • Ana Ng
  • Hearing Aid
  • Whistling In The Dark
  • Purple Toupee
  • The Famous Polka
  • Chess Piece Face
  • She’s An Angel
  • Istanbul (Not Constantinople)
  • (She Was A) Hotel Detective
  • Where Your Eyes Don’t Go
  • Birdhouse In Your Soul
  • Cowtown
  • 32 Footsteps
  • Road Movie To Berlin
  • Twisting
  • Nothing’s Gonna Change My Clothes
  • Shoehorn With Teeth
  • Don’t Let’s Start
  • Hide Away Folk Family

It was my first solo journey into New York City.  While I was nervous the next two times I went, it was nothing like that night.  So after this I would make the journey across the Hudson River with increasing frequency.

I have seen TMBG many times in concert since 1990, and they always put on a great show. If they are in your area, I suggest you check them out.

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. The Retroist

    “The Might Be Giants” and I quickly followed it up with “Lincoln”. I listened to “Lincoln” A LOT.

  2. Batfan

    I’ve literally had ZERO exposure to TMBG, outside of the songs they did for Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I’ve heard of them here and there, over the years but, never heard any of their songs.

    That song is pretty catchy though. I’ll have to check out more.

  3. The Retroist

    Mighty! I would check out their stuff online (since most of it is up there) and then pick from any of their first 5 albums to get more deeply immersed. I am currently listening to “Flood” again a lot and I am also enjoying “The Else” which I did not give much of a listen to when it came out a few years ago.

  4. Pop Rewind

    One of my favorite bands! I caught one of their shows after Here Come the ABCs came out, but unfortunately they haven’t played in my area in some time.

  5. fergojisan

    My first time seeing them was at Drew University in late 1989, I think. Right before Flood came out. I had heard Ana NG on WDHA and started buying their stuff then. I worked nights in my dad’s bakery at that time, and my friends would come and visit at 3 am after Rocky Horror got out and brought all kinds of people with them. One time they brought a girl with them who commented on my They Might Be Giants mug, and that was the first time I had ever met anyone who had heard of them, and she also saw them live! We recently celebrated our 19th wedding anniversary. Thanks TMBG!

  6. Kevin 251

    My first They Might Be Giants show was in late 1989 at the Paradise Rock Club in Boston — this was just a few months before Flood came out, so they did a few Flood songs that night. When they came to Boston again in spring 1990 on the Flood tour, TMBG played at the Orpheum Theatre. That must have been their first Boston area show in a theater (as opposed to a rock club), and shortly before the show started, two couples — quite a bit older than the rest of us — were escorted to seats nearby. Recalling that John Linnell and John Flansburgh were from Massachusetts, my friend whispered, “They Might Be Parents.”

    I’ve been to many TMBG shows over the years — most recently in April, back at the Paradise Rock Club again, 24 years later.

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