Crazy Town Reviews They Might Be Giants @ Stubbs
Artist: They Might Be Giants
Venue: Stubbs Waller Creek Amphitheater – Austin, TX
Date: Feb. 1, 2018
When you say the band name “They Might Be Giants”, some people may not know which band you are speaking about. Which is a surprising fact because they have been making music for over 30 years and their discography totals over 20 albums! Their unique sound mixes the guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, and what seems like a flurry of other instruments into such melodic and catchy tracks, it is a wonder that everyone doesn’t know them by name.
I got to the venue extra early for this show and was surprised that fans were lined up over an hour before the time the gates were set to open. The smile on many of their faces told a story of the excitement they felt to see this amazing double set show and yes, you heard me correctly. There was no opening band and They Might Be Giants played a giant two set show!
I was extra stoked to cover this event as I had never seen TMBG before and finally had an opportunity to catch them at on outdoor venue where the sound is downright amazing. This was the perfect night to see a show in Austin, for this northerner, as the weather had finally turned a little warmer and it was in the 50’s.
The funny part about this perfect weather is that the band kept mentioning how cold it was to play an outdoor show the entire set, which I found quite amusing. They even made a comment that the stage lights usually keep them warm, but now everything had turned to LED lights which put off no heat.
They Might Be Giants
The band took the stage with a presence that seemed entirely fitting to their style of music. They were upbeat, happy, and seemed thoroughly excited to be there. This fits with their style of music, which I personally cannot listen to without a smile on my face.
They announce that at this show they would play their entire “Apollo 18” album throughout the 2 sets. This news made myself and the rest of the crowd extremely happy as this is one of their most popular albums with tracks such as “She’s Actual Size”, “Spider”, and “The Statue Got Me High”.
The first thing they did was call up all the press with photo passes onto the stage. This was an unusual thing to do as I had never seen this happen before at a show. They explained that they wanted the photographers to get the view from the opposite angle then they normally do, which I thought was both a unique and kind gesture. After a few photos they had them exit and began rocking out as only TMBG can do!
TMBG made the event thoroughly entertaining and kept things interesting in between songs with witty banter and interactions between the band’s members. My favorite was when the lead singer took the time to talk about how he likes to stare off 1000 yards into the distance when he is on a stage. But at this venue, the view straight back from the stage goes into a VIP bar area and he spoke about he kept watching a basketball game that was on one of the TVs in the bar, which caught a large laugh from the audience.
When they were about to finish the first set, they announced to the crowd that they would play one more song, and then needed to go back to the bus, argue for a while, take showers, and then return to continue the show. I thought this was a cute anecdote, as did a lot of my fellow concert goers, to which they played out the first set with “Dr. Worm”. Which is one of my all time favorite TMBG tracks about a worm that plays the drums.
Set 2 & Encore
The band came out for their second set and did not miss a beat! They continued to play songs off of the Apollo 18 album and mix in a lot of classic tracks to go along seamlessly to fit the show’s tempo and vibe. You would have never even known that they had already played close to an hour previously.
The highlight of the 2nd set was one of their classic tracks called “Istanbul (not Constantinople)”. Many people know this song and do not even realize it is a TMBG track because it was in an episode of the children’s cartoon “Tiny Toon Adventures” in the mid 90’s. This took me way back to sitting on my parents couch after school and as I looked around the venue I could tell that I was not the only one.
As the band wrapped up their 2nd set, I couldn’t help feeling a little bit slighted, as I realized they had now played one of their most popular tracks “Spider” off of the Apollo 18 album. I could hear the fans around me start whispering as they walked off stage, knowing they would return for an encore because they hadn’t played the full Apollo 18 album.
TMBG didn’t let us down and didn’t play one encore, but two different encore sets! Not only did they play “Spider”, they also blew everyone’s mind when the pulled out “Birdhouse in Your Soul” as their very last song. The reaction and ovation of the crowd for that final track was unlike anything I had ever heard at a concert. There was one person in that entire venue not singing along with the band.
This TMBG was no question a 10 out of 10. Over the course of 2 sets and mre than 2 hours they played 30+ songs.If that isnt great value for any concert I do not know what is. If you ever have he chance to see TMGB in concert, I implore you to do it even if you have never heard any of their albums. You will not be disappointed, and I guarantee that!
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