I think I mentioned (but I might be wrong) that I was going to a They Might Be Giants concert in London not too long ago. Well, approx a week ago my friends, Hanne and Speham, and myself packet our bags and flew to Gatwick, and then took a two hour long bus drive to London, on Monday November 18th (2013).
I don’t want to go into too much detail about what happened on the trip itself, as it mostly consisted of sitting in pubs, bickering and travelling with the tube, but we did buy some pretty awesome stuff:
The reason I decided to write about it all (because I did consider dropping it all together, what with the exams being just around the corner and everything) is all because of the concert, which is probably the best gig I’ve ever been to.
Unfortunately I don’t really have any direct proof that I was there. I didn’t take any pictures nor did I make a video or anything. You’ll just have to take my word for it. But to make up for it, here’s a video somebody else took (I don’t know them) of the same concert:
And here’s a picture of them taken by some lucky photographer that was invited up on stage with them:
Photo: Helen Parish
Wait a minute…
Wow, seriously! I’m in a photo with They Might Be Giants! My friend, Hanne, is standing beside me, but unfortunately Linnell‘s saxophone is in the way :(
Getting in line early and freezing our bottoms off turned out to be a great idea when we finally got inside and ran towards the front. You can clearly see we got a spot in front. We actually got to stand right in front of Marty Beller’s drum set, who coincidentally is my favourite member of TMBG.
They Might Be Giants did an amazing show with classic songs like Birdhouse In Your Soul, Don’t Let’s Start, an awesome version of Ana Ng, and even Dr. Worm, mixed with new favourites like You’re On Fire, Can’t Keep Johnny Down and a rocked up version of the creepy Black Ops. They even managed to give us some hardcore fan favourites like 32 Footsteps. I did not expect that. They also delievered a great version of Istanbul (Not Constantinople) with a hilarious version of the “so take me back to Constantinople” “no, you can’t go back to Constantinople” part. The Avatars of They even made a hilarious appearence and made a performance of He’s Loco.
This time my friends and I also got to participate in the Apes vs. People game, with Marty, Dan and Danny on our side. We were people.
And almost most noteworthy: the awesome Dan Miller played an awesome melodica awesomely.
If you wish to read a better summary of the show I recommend this one, written by Sarah Edmonds (not the one who served as a man in the Civil War).
Trying not to spoil it by trying to explain how incredibly awesome the show was I think I’ll end my description of it here, and instead tell you guys about what happened afterwards.
Interestingly, They Might Be Giants’ back-up band are surprisingly down to earth. During the preparations to the show Danny Weinkauf was casually walking around the stage checking his bass and other things. Similarly, after the show both Danny and Marty Beller helped the crew clean the stage. Whilst doing so they picked up things they thought might interest the fans and gave it to them. At this point there was just a few rows in front who were given things, including my mates and myself.
Before I go into detail about what we got, I’ve got to say we got an awful lot of attention during the show (at least in my opinion). Flansy almost let us play his guitar again, but I don’t think that was the intention. But that didn’t stop us from almost jumping at him. Also, Hanne was lucky enough to be given a signed copy of Nanobots! Flansy also spent a lot of time in front of us, and at one point he even dropped his guitar pick. Right in front of us! It got trapped under the blockade in front of us, but a nice guard gave it to Hanne, who in turn gave it to me. Bless her heart! Both she and the guard had the chance to keep it to themselves, but they decided to give it away. And I decided to keep it, ha ha.
Like I said, after the show Danny and Marty was handing out stuff from the stage. Danny gave away a set list and his guitar pick (I think???????) to the guys on the far right and told them something (not surprisingly, I didn’t really catch what he said). Marty was handing out his drum sticks and the set list. Both Speham and Hanne got a drum stick, and Hanne even got the set list. She now had a drum stick, a signed CD and a set list. I was more than happy with the guitar pick I got, but that didn’t stop me from reaching for the drum sticks. I failed at reaching them, and was sort of disappointed, but in afterthought very very happy that I was holding Flansburgh’s guitar pick. Actually being ready to leave I was caught by surprise when I saw Marty walking in my direction, holding a drumhead. At this point people were really reaching for him, but he waved them away and handed the drumhead (which I now realised was signed) to me.
I was kind of in shock at what had just happened and just stared at it for at least a minute. After realising what had just happened I looked up at Marty, who was now sitting in front of us, signing Speham’s drum stick. I then said in my most sincerest voice “Marty, thank you so much…!”, and he looked up at me and said something, but curse the heavens I actually didn’t catch that either!
Marty Beller, if you’re by some crazy coincident reading this and if you can remember what you said, I would love to know! Ha ha. Either way, that incident has been looping in my mind ever since. The drumhead is now hanging above my bed and I look at it every day, reminiscing that wonderful night.
After that we went over to the merch sales. Walking over there I could feel the envious eyes of the other people following me. Lot’s of people walking by gave me thumbs up and told me “congratulations”.
I didn’t have money to buy a lot of things, but I did have enough to buy a signed Europe tour poster and a Nanobots poster.
And I just have to do a little bit of promotion right here. This guy, going by the name Commander McNeil, handed us (or me… or I took it) this album he did.
His music is really good and very witty. Here’s a little snippet from a gig he did at The Arc Bar. Please check it out.
A huuuuge thank you to They Might Be Giants; John, John, Dan, Danny and Marty, for making this one of the best events in my life! And thanks to Hanne and Speham, for, after many many discussions, troubles and problems, went to London with me, and contributed to make this the wonderful experience it was.
PS(!!!): Danny Weinkauf is currently in the process of making his own children’s album (No School Today). If you’re not too short on money, and if you want to contribute to an amazing project you should check this out. He already reached his initial goal, but he still needs your help to make this as awesome as possible.
If you were at the concert (or any of the other concerts) I would love to hear some stories! Did you get anything? Did you get to meet them? Did you get anything signed? Did you buy any awesome merch? Did you have fun? Aren’t they the best ever??
Please let me know, I would love to get in touch with other fellow fans!