They Might Be Giants launched their UK tour on Wednesday with a sold out show at the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds – and it wasn’t just the venue that was packed.
The set list on the night was a real eclectic mix for fans – there was literally something for everyone, from whatever point they started following the band.
From Nothing’s Gonna Change My Clothes, Number Three, She’s An Angel and Where Your Eyes Don’t Go from the first two studio albums in the 1980s to Trouble Awful Devil Evil, Answer and Music Jail – songs from the Dial-a-Song project of 2015 where the band challenged themselves to release one song every week of the year – and everything in-between!
There were even some of their “children’s” songs included – Alphabet of Nations and Robot Parade – although the door policy was strictly over 14. But then there’s such a huge crossover with TMBG that all their material appeals to all ages.
Following the UK dates and some in the US, the band says they will be taking a break from touring for a little while, so perhaps they decided to deliver us a real treat while they could. And they certainly did that!
But then you always get the impression they just play what they like to play. There’s always the chance you’ll hear something unexpected – and they’re not afraid to stick something completely different in there even if they feel it’s totally under-rehearsed (and they even make a point of stating this).
For this reason, my personal highlights were We Live In a Dump from a 2007 podcast and later released on the Idlewild compilation CD; and Twisting from the 1990 album Flood, which I was delighted to hear over its more well-known companions such as The Guitar or Istanbul (Not Constantinople) which were both released as singles.
And extra special mention for an unbelievable live version of Destiny’s Child song Bills, Bills, Bills which the band first performed for AV Undercover last summer.
Loads of my favourites were in there too from show opener The Statue Got Me High to Can’t Keep Johnny Down, Damn Good Times and Doctor Worm.
Flood tracks are always crowd pleasers as this was the album where a lot of UK fans (me included) joined the TMBG ride, so Particle Man was well received. And the crowd had to wait until right at the very end before hearing biggest hit and TMBG anthem Birdhouse in your Soul – but it definitely didn’t disappoint.
With no support act, we just got two amazing hours of They Might Be Giants music and banter.