When They Might Be Giants says they are playing Flood, their platinum selling record from 1990, in its entirety, you know you are in for a real treat. But what does playing Flood actually entail? On October 9 at the Pageant, for the audience it meant singing along to all those tenderly loved classics on Flood.
They Might Be Giants – I Am a Paleontologist (ft. Danny Weinkauf)
And if you were at the sold out show on Friday, which held the promise of the album in its entirety, you’ll know it meant witnessing TMBG forgetting some songs and playing others out of order. However, fitting with the nature of the band, one can almost justify that these little flub-ups might have been intentional. Perhaps the lights permitting John Linnell to read his set list went out on purpose, or the idea to play “Flood, in it’s entirety, in order” wouldn’t be true to the spirit of TMBG if everything had gone according to plan. It quickly became evident, however, that such wishful thinking gives too much credit where credit was not due. This was perpetuated by intrusions to the performance in the form of The Avatars who proclaimed after five songs, “thank you to TMBG for opening for us, now the real show starts.” While this was certainly a humorous break from the epic of the TMBG set, it became clear that screwing up the order of their timeless album was, in fact, an ill planned screw-up. John Flansburgh made light of the situation by saying, “you all probably know how Flood goes better than we do!” But however uncomfortable this probably made the more die hard members of the audience, the show was a great success. By the end of the night, one felt as though they were getting two shows for the price of one—Flood in its (almost) entirety and at least 15 other songs including a humbling sock puppet rendition of “Shoehorn with Teeth.” In the end TMBG mixed just the right number of songs from their childrens’ and adult catalogs, making the show a humorous and eclectic, if a little lackadaisical, experience.