CONCERT REVIEW: They Might Be Giants at the Slowdown in Omaha

They Might Be Giants at the Slowdown in Omaha, Nebraska on Wednesday, March 14, 2018. Photo by Dean Birkheimer.

“If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants” – Isaac Newton

Their music has been described as kooky and quirky, but no matter how you label them, They Might Be Giants (or TMBG) are exceptionally professional and talented as any act you’ll ever see. John Flansburgh and John Linnell have been together since 1982 and like a cast iron skillet or fine leather, they get better with age.

Their latest album “I Like Fun” released this past January has been critically acclaimed. Paste Magazine says “I Like Fun rocks unabashedly”. The Wire calls it their “funkiest album since 2007”. The A.V. Club states “The TMBG song machine is still operating at full force”. So now 36 years after forming, they come to us via the sold out Slowdown in Omaha, Ne. In what had to be comic intention the first song was “Let’s Get This Over With” obviously a joke because this show wasn’t “over with” for 31 songs. John F told us from the start, that we can consider TMBG to be the opening act for TMBG because the 31 song show would be broken down into two parts. The first part featured the duo with their touring musicians, Danny Weinkauf, Dan Miller, Marty Beller and Curt Ramm. It was amazing how quickly the energy level rose as both the band and the audience were playing off each other all evening. The comedy on stage was just as impressive as the music. The banter between the band-mates and the audience was never ending. After the first set, there was a 15 minute break then the second set started as a three piece. It featured John F on guitar, John L on accordion and the drummer at his electronic kit. They did about six songs like this and it really featured their abilities as musicians, song-writers and singers. After the 2nd set they returned for an encore which included “Birdhouse In Your Soul”, then another departure and yet another encore. The show ended two and half hours later with “Doctor Worm”.

The two Johns were born to do what they do, they appeared to absolutely love being on stage performing for us. They may be a little off center, but this is why their fans find them so irresistible and why they will always come back for more.


SET LIST:

SET 1:
LET’S GET THIS OVER WITH – DAMN GOOD TIMES – ANA NG – YOUR RACIST FRIEND – HEY, MR. D.J., I THOUGHT YOU SAID WE HAD A DEAL – ALL TIME WHAT – WHISTLING IN THE DARK – UNDERWATER WOMAN – LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT MY OPERATION – I LEFT MY BODY – THE MESOPOTAMIANS – THIS MICROPHONE – BILL, BILLS, BILLS – SPY

SET 2:
OLDER – I LIKE FUN – TIPPERCANOE AND TYLER TOO – SHOEHORN WITH TEETH – HOW CAN I SING LIKE A GIRL? – INSTANBUL (NOT CONSTANTINOPLE) WHY DOES THE SUN SHINE – NUMBER THREE – NEW YORK CITY – WICKED LITTLE CRITTA – TWISTING – MRS. BLUEBEARD – WHEN WILL YOU DIE – PARTICLE MAN / CHANDELIER

ENCORE:
BIRDHOUSE IN YOUR SOUL – THE GUITAR (THE LION SLEEPS TONIGHT)

ENCORE 2:
DOCTOR WORM


– Dean Birkheimer, Go Venue Magazine Photojournalist

They Might Be Giants Gallery