27 November 2007

You're older than you've ever been, and now you're even older: They Might Be Giants at the TLA, Philly, 24/11/07

My 22nd/golden birthday wasn't particularly fabulous.

Well, my birthday itself fell on Thanksgiving, for the first time since I turned 16, and T-day itself was fine. You know, the same crazy family get-together sort of thing where you all yell at each other over plane tickets and the expiration date on a jar of salsa. Good to know all is normal and well and that the planet is still spinning on its axis.

But through an unlucky set of circumstances, the partying-that-was-to-be on Friday night didn't happen because, well. Apparently nobody could/wanted to take me out for my birthday. Hmph.

Luckily, my friend Rachel and her husband were super-sweet and decided that not going out for my birthday was silly, and so took me to see They Might Be Giants on Saturday night, for which I am eternally grateful.

I'm not super-familiar with They Might Be Giants' discography. I only have four of their songs on my iTunes, three of which because they have been, at one time or another, covered by OK Go, and the other because, well, who doesn't like "Istanbul"? Luckily, TMBG is not one of those bands where you have to know every word to every song to have a good time.

The night was filled with all the antics that you might expect from John and John and their band (and the Hornblow kids in general): stagehands in uniform, dancing, confetti, foam fingers, accordion, horn, bass drum, witty banter ("TELL ME, DO YOU LOVE THE FUZZ BASS??" "Most of you probably think of Michigan as just a mitten, but in fact, there are thousands and thousands of miles that they forgot to call Canada!"), and funny lyrics, as well as some good old improv-jamming that stayed rockin' without ever wandering into that weird prog rock territory (*shiver*). Every musician up on that stage deserved to be up there. And it was nice to finally go to a show where the average audience member wasn't 16. (Also worth noting was that the night's set was divided in two, with a twenty-minute intermission. Which was curious and unexplained, but welcome, since it gave Rachel and me the opportunity to squeeze closer to the stage.)

The most super-thrilling show I've ever been to? No, not really. (In fact, it somehow managed to be rocking and danceable while maintaining a thoroughly laid-back feel.) But a very good time was had by all, I can assure you.

My decent pictures:

This is the dance for the TLA song that TMBG composed especially for that concert. See what I mean about uniforms and dancing? Rachel and I were ready to yell out, "Mike Kent! Are you there?!"

This is not a good picture, but it is a picture of Neil. Neil is the sound guy, and John called him out on talking to him via their silly headphone things and ruining his train of thought, so for the next song, he had Neil play the sleigh bells. Later on, John was directing people when to play, and during a silence, someone yelled out, "NEIL!" and Neil played his sleigh bells.

"Praise the Drum God! He's ripping his shit for you!"

More (and bigger sizes) here, if you care.

And here's a video of the TLA song for your enjoyment:

More videos can be found here.


  1. the planet is still spinning on its access

    Access of Evil.

  2. Okay, you know what? I spelt it right in my LJ. I was half asleep when I wrote this.