Students Crowd to See They Might Be GiantsBy Deena Disraelly
Although seats were available, with the crowd on the floor was the place to be Friday night as They Might Be Giants and Tribe rocked Johnson Athletic Center. The concert, sponsored by the Student Center Committee was the main attraction during this year's Spring Weekend.
The stage was set for the concert with two sets of instruments, one set for each of the two participating bands. Above the instruments were three posters, pictures of mouths speaking, printed with the words "Fidelity, Melody, and Quantity." While the audience eagerly awaited the bands' arrival, seventies music played.
Tribe opened the concert with several songs from its new album. The words were barely understandable over the band's loud base and drums, but the beat was good and the crowd danced.
"Tribe played a lot of their new stuff, and I'm really psyched about the new album because I liked the stuff they played. Out of the eleven songs they played, seven were new. I got to carry their drums off the stage. . . It was an honor," said Jock T. Jones '95.
During the forty-five minute intermission between the two bands, people clustered into groups in the stands and on the floor; some played cards, and others waited in line to purchase concert T-shirts and hats.
They Might Be Giants appeared at about 10:30 p.m. and was greeted by a screaming crowd. The band warned the crowd that it was going to play several new songs, which it did not really know how to play. The audience was forewarned that lead singers John Linnell and John Slansburgh would quite often be looking at their feet.
Their fans didn't mind though. Jeremy M. Isikoff '95 said, "The concert was great. They tried some new stuff that was strange, but it was interesting."
They Might Be Giants worked the crowd with a number of gimmicks during the evening. At one point, Slansburgh flipped a coin to determine which song the group would play next. When explaining what they were doing to the audience, they did not name the songs, but merely referred to them as songs eleven and twelve on the list. The coin landed heads up, and "Make A Little Bird House In Your Soul" won out.
Another one of the antics included "Spin the Dial." Slansburgh brought a radio out on stage and tuned the dial to a song that the band could join in on. The band passed over rock and country songs, but joined in playing a jazz melody. It finished off that set as Linnell apologized saying, "Sometimes we have a really good night, and sometimes it doesn't work."
At one point during the concert, one of the lights fell from the base supporting and landed down on stage. Although many people wondered if that was supposed to be part of the show, "It was by no means the highlight of the evening," said Peter M. Goldstein '96.
Although they did try new things, the crowd enjoyed the old favorites, including "Particle Man" and "Ball and Chain," to which they danced and sang along. From the start of the concert, fans cried out for "Istanbul," enough that Linnell and Slansburgh became visibly annoyed with the crowd.
"It didn't seem to be really set. They were totally relaxed, and they were just kind of hanging more than they were giving a concert. Even people who don't like their music would have to admit they put on a really good show. But, I like their music, so I really enjoyed it," John R. Bergquist '95, who worked set-up, take-down, and security.
Shortly after midnight, They Might Be Giants left the stage, and the auditorium went dark. The crowd began chanting, "Istanbul" repeatedly, and Linnell and Slansburgh came back out. They played "Istanbul," as the crowd sang, danced, and screamed. Slansburgh ended the song by picking up a green footlight, while the stage lights went dark, and just illuminating his face. Linnell, who was playing the accordian, was lit by a red footlight. The two sang the ending "Istanbul" in voices reminiscent of Freddy Krueger.
The concert ended with Linnell and Slansburgh bringing out the rest of the band, thanking the crew and the band. The concert's finale was similar to the one at The Hat Shell concert last fall. The band played "Frankenstein," and Slansburgh broke all the strings on his guitar. They Might Be Giants left the stage to thunderous applause, as many in the crowd agreed that they were giants.