They Might Be Giants @ House Of Blues Anaheim
They Might Be Giants @ House Of Blues Anaheim October 5th
Posted Oct 24, 2007, by sarah tea.
My friends and I got to the House of Blues of Anaheim early to try to see if we could get in before the doors opened. We got our drinks and beers while our designated drivers had their free cherry cokes and found a nice spot about three rows of people back. We were pretty satisfied until one of us started having an anxiety attack from all the people and a few others got a little upset with some rude fans. We headed upstairs and got some lounge seats where we could only see half the stage, two giant television screens and a bird's eye view of the crowd below us. We spent the rest of the show up there.None of us knew who was opening until Oppenheimer took the stage. They were two guys from Belfast, Northern Ireland with a nack for multitasking, much like the headlining band, They Might Be Giants. With a flare for instruments much like E from The Eels, Rocky O'Rielly and Shaun Robinson switched from guitar to percussion from vocals to keyboard and etc...they had a very calm performance, they were probably trying to focus on whatever instrument they were inbetween. I kid. They consider their music pop with an indie and electronic sound. i guess you could say they are a bit like the Postal Service in that sense but without the strong vocal lead. In fact Oppenheimer takes the more subtle approach with their music with a positive twist.
They Might Be Giants have been in my head phones, in my cartoons,(their musics been used by Brendan Small's "Home Movies" recently played on Adult Swim) and on my movie screen for quite a while now, but this was my first time to get to see them play live. That wasn't the only first for me that night. It was the first time I had ever seen so many people crowding the very front of the stage so early before even the first act was scheduled to go on. Clutching on tightly to the railing or trying desperately to inch their way towards the front row. Whats really weird is it was also the first time I had ever heard anyone say "well, the signs say 'no moshing' so hopefully security will enforce that rule." Turns out security needn't be bothered. Everyone was more interested in po-going and singing along to songs like 'new york city,' 'bird house in your soul.' and 'she's an angel'.In my opinion everyone seemed just as stoked as I was and if they seemed apathetic at all they were actually trying very hard to look that way and were probably suppressing their insane sheer joy. It was a packed show full of a very diverse crowd. You could tell that their music branched out to many different scenes, ages, and life styles. I think fans could really make or break a good show and I was really pleased with the turn out.
They Might Be Giants just might be two guys making awesome music, John Flansburg and John Linnell, but they also play well with others Marty Beller, Dan Miller, and Danny Weinkauf play with the band temporarily.. they also had a really fun brass section come onstage and that really got the crowd excited.
With a voice just smooth as something coming from the mouth of Elvis Costello himself, John Flansburg sang whimsical, humorous, geeky, enigmatic, post-punk, electric rock influenced songs into the night . They played a lot of songs from their new album "The Else" and I couldn't help but fall in love when they played "Upside Down Frown" and "With the Dark." Their stage performance wasn't so enthusiastic, in fact most of the energy seemed to be coming from the crowd and not so much from atop of the stage, but I was so happy with the music I didn't really even notice.
This wasn't one of those shows where i was looking at my watch and hoping they'd play their last song, it was the one where I didn't even want to get up to go to the restroom, afraid i might miss something. I finally chanced it and took off before "Meet James Ensor." While I was gone it turns out I missed what some of my friends say was, "the best freakin part of the show!" where John Linnel did a skit where he talks to a dead mouse named Milton through some kind of phone line for the dead. Apparently it was a riot and I don't know if I can ever forgive myself for having that last guinness.
It looked to me that towards the end of the show everyone was really pleased and into it. They left the stage after playing "Particle Man" one of their more popular songs and came back out for two encores when of course they played "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)" and that was a blast, but i was really happy when they pulled out a Bob Dylan song and played their version of "Mr. Tambourine Man." Totally unexpected. They didn't let me down and I don't think they'll let you down either if you're not easily startled or cut off from anything thats a little arbitrary or strange. When it comes to their stage presence i guess the time to see them might have passed a few years back but they are worth seeing if your a fan of their poetic and intriguing sound.
For more they might be giants check out one of their children's books.
You can also check out the band Snmnmnm to hear their similar styles with a great sense of humor.