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A Giant Reunion: They Might Be Giants

I saw They Might be Giants perform at a small, crowded college bar in Tempe, Arizona in 1992. Before it began, it had already been a long night; two of the grad students I was with were vomiting uncontrollably before we even got to the venue. That was back when the two Johns had a canned band supporting them and Dial-A-Song was at the forefront of electronic music sharing technology. While my primos drifted in and out of a tequila-troubled consciousness, I sat back with a pack of Camel squares and an iced tea and listened. Despite technical limitations, multi-intrumentalists Linnell and Flansburgh put on a hell of a show. Their set was plaintive and frenetic, all at once, with songs that veered from pastiche to ponderous to pure pop without the brutality of Ween or the swagger of Zappa. Twenty years later, TMBG have added backing musicians, recorded a voluminous catalogue of crazy, beautiful music, grown and maintained a loyal fan base and continue to tour on the strength of their new work. TMBG will be supporting their latest Nanobots—and likely digging merrily into the past, too—when they play the Sunshine on tonight at 8pm. I’ll probably be up in the balcony, nursing a soda pop—well away from the distractions of my previous encounter with these gentlemen. Sunshine Theater • Thu Oct 24 • 8pm • $22 • View on Alibi calendar


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