Arrived back from London after seeing They Might Be Giants at the Royal Festival Hall. This was actually the first live concert that i've seen of a band that isn't some two-bit local band doing a park gig. Now, i've only been a sideline fan of TMBG, i've pretty much only listened to their more well known stuff, but i did adore their album Here Comes Science. I could write pages about how awesome that album is and the potential for it as a teaching method, But about the live concert.
TMBG's opening act, Mike Doughty was, i'll be frank here; Dry. But I'll be fair, the guy can sing and play guitar and was pretty funny while talking in between his songs, but all of his songs sort of blended together into one bland, repetitive drone that not only felt like a long time, but WAS a long time. He was on stage for 45 minutes, maybe it's just because i'm a concert newbie but i don't think many opening acts are that long. Thankfully after what might have been 10 songs, The main act took to the stage.
They opened with Cow Town, which i haven't heard before but Pirpi instantly started singing to it, the sunken look on her face from the dull opening washed away by her favourite people on the planet singing to her. And then as to say "Don't worry, nick we know you're here too" they played Meet the Elements, which did have singing along every word. The amount of stuff they took from Here Comes Science was great, especially their hilarious rendition of "Why Does The Sun Shine?" with flansborough singing like a pirate while Linnel doing his James Mason impression for his segments, they even included the Scientifically literate song "The Sun is a Miasma of Incandescent Plasma" right after.
After a great mix of songs which both me and Pirpi knew (Bird House in Your Soul, Don't Let's Start etc) and some hilarious in-between song banter, as well as a pair of tube sock puppets called The Avatars of They, which might have stolen the show with their hilarious banter and great song set(Stalk of Wheat, Some other song that is escaping even pirpi's memory and they even sang What is a shooting Star? which filled me with glee) and i had to laugh at the crowd being showered with paper confetti for a full minute in the middle of 'Older'. The joke wasn't lost on me and pirpi.
An hour past and TMBG were belting out nothing but joy, and their show was finishing, Flansborough had us all get up and dance and clap our hands to the song (which came very naturally to us at this point) and they said their thank you's to everyone before running off stage pirpi was pretty sure they would run back on for an encore, which they did. What we were NOT expecting was a further 45 minutes of songs, separated into 3 encores. Coming back with more fan favourites like Istanbul, Racist Friend, The Guitar, New York City, Dead, Ana Ng, Dr Worm, The Mesopotamians and finally finishing up with the every immortal Particle Man with John Linnel breaking from his quite levelled performance on stage going into a full head-banging accordion rock out. He's the only guy aside from Weird Al who can make an accordion awesome.
We walked back to the hotel exhausted but grinning from ear to ear, with my spine aching from the dancing i did (Not gonna lie, it's been a while) and we collapsed onto bed after watching a Korean horror movie called The Host.
So yes as the title says, i'm now a fan (complete with a "Science is Real" T-shirt). MP3s can only convey so much, what they don't show is how brilliant they are as showmen. Me and Pirpi are jumping at the chance to see they them again if they choose to in future. And judging from the crowd that night, i suspect they'll want to return to that.