They Might Be Giants came out to San Francisco last night to promote their latest album, Glean. This was my fourth time seeing the band, and boy, these guys don’t fool around. No opening act. 20 minute intermission (?). Two encores. Free sticker and poster.
Oh, and the part where they asked everyone to take out their phones, turn them ON, and switch on the flashlight.
The Fillmore’s a decent venue with like 98% standing room only, but it gives you a chance to be up close to the artists, so that’s cool. The acoustics were great at the concert, however, the vocals were way too low. Most of the evening, you just couldn’t hear the words over the instruments. And for a band known for their creative and intelligent wordplay, it was a disappointment. That said, for the songs I already knew, it was fun to sing along anyway.[image_lightbox title=”Christian Pizzirani” full_img_url=”http://www.christianpizzirani.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/IMG_8246.jpg”][/image_lightbox]
Like I mentioned, they dove right in and started the show, no opening act needed. As a fan, that’s awesome. And it suited them just fine. The entire setlist can be found here.
The band did played through a solid variety of songs, many of course from Glean, but several from albums past – Join Us, The Else, Flood, and a few other gems sprinkled in here and there. One of my highlights, however, was the inclusion of a cover song. A few years ago, TMBG performed “Tubthumping” by CHUMBAWAMBA for a series of covers put together by the A.V. Club. They explained to the audience they’d done yet another song, this time around it was Destiny’s Child’s “Bills, Bills, Bills”. Let me tell you, it really rocked. In fact, it could have passed for a They Might Be Giants song. They really made it their own while retaining much of the original’s feel.
During intermission, I tweeted this:
After the show, TMBG retweeted it and made my evening.[image_lightbox title=”Christian Pizzirani” full_img_url=”http://www.christianpizzirani.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/IMG_8281.jpg”][/image_lightbox]
All in all, it was an entertaining show and it’s made me enjoy Glean even more so. Year after year, I continue to be impressed by these folks and their seemingly endless creativity and energy. Keep on trucking, TMBG. It’s good to be alive.
Also, the band was recently on Conan O’Brien’s show, performing “Answer” from Glean.