Pop & Rock

They Still Are Giants


I caught one of the two L.A. sets by They Might Be Giants, who recently released Join Us, their first adult album in quite some time. The performance was part of their 30th anniversary tour. Sure, the audience offered a broader age spectrum, but the energy in the room made it hard to believe two decades had passed since I last saw them perform.

The first few times I caught TMBG, it was just the original duo of John Linnell and John Flansburg. I also saw their first tour with their full band. The Johns are still touring with a talented group of musicians backing them. Fans of their music who've never seen them perform will be surprised at how much the clever lyrics and creative arrangements actually rock when heard live, especially on crowd pleasers such as "When Will You Die" and "Celebration."

Of course, it wouldn't be TMBG without a healthy dose of whimsy. One of my favorite moments of the night was when they got the somewhat stoic audience to rush the stage early on by playing a rocking version of "Clap Your Hands," one of their songs for kids. And later in the set, the band played a loyal version of Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" while puppets (voiced by Linnell and Flansburg) provided the lyrics.

The dates continue through early March and, since it's an anniversary tour, the sets are peppered with cuts from their vast and imaginative discography.

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