IOWA CITY, Iowa (June 2, 2013) — They Might Be Giants (TMBG) returned to the Englert Theatre in downtown Iowa City last night. This show being the first in what is becoming an incredibly busy week for the Englert staff! Tonight they are hosting Son Volt and tomorrow bring The Tallest Man on Earth, but we couldn’t be more happy! TMBG was last in town back in 2011. This time the boys from Brooklyn dragged along some more NYC talent as an opening act.
Moon Hooch, a riot of reeds from big apple subways blew the crowd away with some really amazing and unexpected sounds from woodwinds. They call it cave music, I call it bad-ass, but I’m a weirdo, don’t trust me. Check ’em out yourself. Wenzl McGowen plays saxaphones, tubes and a contrabass clarinet. Mike Wilbur plays saxophones and rocks a slide whistle with James Muschler on drums. Just four measures in the first song my mind went right back to that unforgetable throaty, sexy woodwind hum of Morphine, now mash that together with the transient punching and pulsating pace of dubstep . . . see where I’m going here? Watch out for these guys!
TMBG stepped up to do what they do best, deliver! After a flurry of flying foam fingers for the crowd (yup, they threw out a bunch of those “we’re #1” big arse foam fingers), it was on. Hard to believe Flansburgh and Linnell have been at this since 1982. Adapting with the ages, obviously you can download their new albums on iTunes and Amazon and even have an iPhone app. You CAN still get them on vinyl! Just go to their website.
I dare you to get a TMBG song out of your head, even just for a second. Their melodies are infectious, but in a really, really good way. Because reciting over and over the quirky and somewhat bizarre lyrics in the break room today wasn’t weird at all . . . was it?
Here is What Smarter Folk Than I Thought of the Show
From James Shannon:
Openers Moon Hooch were a welcome surprise. The New York based trio pull out a surprising variety of sounds from 4 saxophones, a drum set and sparse samples. Horn players Wenzl McGowan and Mike James almost seemed to be dueling with their horns, sparring back and forth over the top of drummer James Muschler’s formidable rhythmic skills.
I’ll admit, it’s hard for me to talk about They Might Be Giants without bias. Flood was one of the four albums that defined my teenage years. Every time I see them live there’s a I feel a little bit like a 16 year old again. Linnel and Flansberg displayed the playful banter and chemistry that have kept them going over 31 years and 17 albums, joking about everything from constant fan requests for Flood songs, to poor attendance at Tuesday night shows, to Buffalo Wild Wings. Of course, they played “Birdhouse In Your Soul” and “Don’t Let’s Start” and other aforementioned classic favorites. The setlist also included several tracks from Apollo 18 (some of my personal favorites) and the newest album, Nanobots. Given their extensive catalog, it’s always a joy to see which forgotten gems they’ll produce during a given show. Whether you’re an old fan like me, or just getting into the band, I highly recommend seeing one of the remaining shows on the last leg of this tour.
So sit back, pop open a beer, hit play on the new album below and scroll down to watch the pictures of the show! Ah, good times!
This is TMBG’s New Album Nanobots
They Might Be Giants Live on Stage at The Englert with Moon Hooch