Alice Dryden (huskyteer) wrote,
Alice Dryden

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The Lion's On The Phone

I realised about a week ago that Saturday night's They Might Be Giants concert would clash with the series finale of Dr Who. Come on, John and John, call yourselves geeks?

But I managed to forget that I was missing Pandorica excitement as I met up with eslington and insofox for a pre-gig pizza and we took our seats in the Royal Festival Hall - or, as our American entertainers referred to it, 'your'.

This flying robot penguin was floating around the hall before the show, and cheekily slapped an audience member on its way out, to the great amusement of all.

Support was from Mike Doughty, who was enjoyable but had a bit of a chip on his shoulder about the audience not having heard of him, which was hardly our fault. Perhaps he just didn't like playing second fiddle to a giant penguin.

What with TMBG being The Internet's Band, it was inevitably a very LiveJournalish event; several people I know had attended the family show earlier in the day, and others were elsewhere in the evening crowd. This performance opened with 'Cow Town', which made me think of gobserver, and later they did 'Dr Worm', a line of which used to be mockduck's journal subtitle.

The Johns admitted they had spent the family show wondering how long they could go without accidentally swearing. This is probably why we grown-ups were asked to "Get on your feet and dance in the fucking aisles! Who gives a shit about the rules? What kind of a pussy show is this?"

I was surprised to find I knew about 90% of the material played. The one big gap was 'the They Might Be Giants national anthem', 'Clap Your Hands', for which we were urged to stand up and participate. Luckily the instructions are pretty clear.

Other items on the setlist included 'Birdhouse In Your Soul' very early on, which made me wonder what exotic delights were coming up later, and 'Why Does The Sun Shine?' performed with Flansburgh and Linnell impersonating, respectively, a pirate and James Mason.

The best part of the evening for me, however - and insofox can testify to my ludicrous excitement - was hearing a live performance of the first TMBG song I ever listened to.

It was played me in the early '90s by my cool schoolfriend Milla; without it I might never have got into the rest of their output; and it was 'The Guitar (The Lion Sleeps Tonight)'.
Tags: gigs
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