Review: They Might Be Giants brings 90’s back Downtown Pensacola, brought 00’s to 80’s
By Roy Brown
Special to the Voyager
They Might Be Giants, the 90’s alternative-rock band, played a packed show Sunday night at the Vinyl Music Hall in Downtown Pensacola.
The show had a vintage vibe with an ensemble of different instrumentation from a bass saxophone to an organ. The smells of halitosis and cheap whiskey made for an interesting atmosphere as well, it was nothing short of rock at its fullest!
They Might Be Giants was founded in 1982, but really gained a solid following in the early 1990’s. Songs like “Birdhouse in Your Soul” and “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)” were two of the original songs that elevated the band to stardom. These songs and many other classics were met with an overwhelming approval from the audience at Sunday’s show.
Later in their career, the band received a nostalgic following from an age group that remembers them playing in an episode of the cartoon “Tiny Toon Adventures” in 1991.
Members of the audience wearing these nostalgic “Tiny Toon” t-shirts made the atmosphere that much more lively. A time-machine could have transported the music hall back to the 90’s to help Particle Man fight Universe Man and the sound would have been the same.
TMBG have been identified as a geeky band with strange lyrical content that is tongue-in-cheek at times. Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart are fans of the They Might Be Giants and Weezer lists them as a major influence on their music, according to the band’s website, theymightbegiants.com.
Hearing new music used to be a process in which going to the music store and making a purchase or trading albums were the only options, but now everything is on-demand. You wouldn’t think it by listening to them, but TMBG were revolutionaries in the way we obtain music today.
They Might Be Giants started a movement back in the 80’s with on-demand music. As an advertising ploy to get their name out during a hiatus, the band recorded their songs onto an answering machine and advertised the phone number in local print as Dial-a-Song. Dial-a-Song was a huge success and in part changed the way we obtain music, from our phones.
It may sound insignificant that a band in the 80’s did something so simple, but look at the way we consume music today. Songs and albums are on-demand in 2018 from the lowliest artist to the biggest names in entertainment. This had to start somewhere and the idea of calling a landline telephone number to hear the latest track from your favorite band played on a cassette-recorded answering machine is about as close to a starting point as you can possibly get.
They Might Be Giants were also the first major-label band to sell an album exclusively online in an MP3 format. This was a risky initial venture that proved to be the way of the future. “Long Tall Weekend” was released in 1999 and can still be purchased online.
TMBG are currently touring across the United States and parts of Europe to mostly sold-out locations promoting their recent release, “I Like Fun.” The new album was released last month, but many of the songs have been featured on the band’s revamped Dial-a-song platform.