TMBG in Baltimore

John Flansburgh's guitar

They Might Be Giants came by Ram’s Head Live in Baltimore on Saturday night. Promoting their new album Nanobots. They kicked off with Your Head is on Fire from that album and got Nanobots in near the end, but the majority of their set list contained crowd favorites and everyone was singing along.

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John Flansburgh

My first concert ever was They Might Be Giants back in 1995, that year my group of buddy’s used the name Countless Screaming Argonauts for our senior trip. I got to interview John Linnell for my college radio show when they played my school in 98. I’ve seen them a few times since, including one of their kids shows (my five year old son’s first concert ever). But here and now, they’re doing their traditional catalog full of catchy, quirky favorites and oddball lyrics. I’m glad it wasn’t just songs off of the latest album. People in the audience seemed to be acquainted with the later songs, but they had a light on in the birdhouse in their soul for the classics. And everyone joined in singing their second encore Instanbul (Not Constantinople). Personally, I was holding out for Ana Ng, but they didn’t do that one this show. They really got the crowd pumped up with their Battle for the Planet of the Apes epic yelling match between the two halves of the auditorium.

The crowd at Ramshead

The crowd was nearly sold out (a perfect level of a great, energetic crowd, but not so packed you can’t get to the restroom and back without a secret tunnel). I have to say that the TMBG audience is the nicest, and most comfortable audience I’ve been around. The last couple of shows I’ve hit (Mos Def, Nas) were not nearly as welcoming. I loved that random strangers would even let me pop into their spot at the railing to grab a picture like this one, and then move on after 20 seconds. At the FUN. concert, people were yelling at the photographers just for walking in front of them. Anyway, I felt at home with the TMBG crowd. It was very welcoming, like we were all in on a secret joke no one else knew about. It might have helped I was wearing my custom I don’t want the world, I just want your half shirt.

John Linnell

If you’re a fan of They Might Be Giants, I can’t recommend the show enough. It’s great hearing your favorite songs, but with a crowd singing and swaying along really ups the experience. If you’re not a huge fan, but are familiar with their music, you’d have a good time as well. They announced they’re hitting 9:30 Club in Washington pretty soon. Check out for more tour info and they have a brand new free iPhone app to listen to their music.

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