You’ve got to hand it to a band that’s been jamming for 26 years and still manages to sound funny and quirky while singing about atomic particles and Istanbul. When They Might Be Giants kicked off their latest tour last night at the Beachland, all their trademark enthusiasm and weirdness was in full swing.
On politics: “We are not shaving our facial hair until the Ohio primary, in solidarity with independent voters…”
On time: “You’re older than you’ve ever been, and now you’re even older, and now you’re even older (see video above)”
On the music-download phenomenon: Try our CDs! They’re like vinyl, only smaller, and without all the scratchiness!
On the weather: John Flansburgh (one of the band’s two original Johns) noted that they could’ve started the tour somewhere warm, like Texas, but they “thrive on adversity.”
The crowd — though substantially tamer than the throngs from the band’s heyday-- seemed to appreciate the Giants’ set mix of old and new favorites. They rocked out to everything from “Dr. Worm” to “Alphabet of Nations” and “The Sun is a Mass of Incandescent Gas.”
There was a bit of confusion and polite standing-still when the band played one of their kiddie-music hits, “One Dozen Monkeys,” but the Johns appeared not to notice. When you’ve built a career on unabashed nerdiness and satire — they have an accordion, after all — a few quiet moments in a concert can’t mean too much.
As an encore, Flansburgh gave a gushing rendition of “How Can I Sing Like a Girl?” How can you not love these guys? – Lisa Rab