They Might Be GiantsTipitina's
November 30, 1998
This was probably around November of '99. Unfortunately, the great site www.tmbg.net was not up, or I could have provided the exact date and setlist. But, the band was touring behind their recently released live album, which is a great starting point for anyone who wants to get into TMBG. It's like an unofficial greatest hits, and it has an obscenely good version of "She's An Angel" on there.
The place was packed. The band hit the stage with fanfare and started into "James K. Polk," their educational homage to the president. The two Johns(Flansburgh and Linnell) had a full band behind them, and it was great to hear some of the earlier songs that were created with drum machines get fleshed out with live drums. The band rocked. Guitar solos and everything.
At one point, drummer Dan Hickey came out to the front of the stage to hit a mounted xylophone bar every few measures. It was funny and silly. Also, Flansburgh challenged Hickey to play the drums in different styles. I remember Hickey did John Bonham and Animal from The Muppets. Funny as well.
Flansburgh brought out a radio and challenged the band to play whatever song came up. This was unrehearsed. It was all local stations. This part of the set hits really big or dies, but it's fun to see them try.
At one point in the set, Flansburgh moseyed through the front of the crowd playing a sousaphone. So, it's obvious by now these guys, along with being great musicians, were great entertainers and that their shows are fun.
Linnell was a strange bug, though. He always performs with this disinterested look on his face, though I saw him sneak a couple of smiles here and there. He added a little mystery to the show.
At the end, I remember confetti floating through the crowd. The band played their hits and more. Great show.