They Might Be Giants. Giants in my musical heart, anyway. Their concert Wednesday night was an electro-sea of double-good energy. The audience felt it, and sent the energy back in prototonic waves. A young guy to my left, about 20, was pogo-ing excitedly, singing all the words. People on all sides of me were singing all the words, their heads bobbing. The dial was set on Happy.
I thought my feet were going to be killing me, because this was at the Beaumont in Westport --so just a big open floor in front of the stage, no chairs or any place to lean. We basically stood in the same spot for three hours. But it's amazing what music can do. Once the band came on, I forgot about my feet and legs, except for when I wanted to move them about in joyous unison with the beat. Yeah!!!
It's been too long....I had forgotten....forgotten how good it feels to be among the young, dancing to live rock music. It was like getting an infusion of powerful youth juju. There were people our age, but the crowd was mostly young and younger, such as the 20ish guy next to us who bounced away the evening. And that is what I love about rock concerts---the people in the audience who are unbridled in their enthusiasm.
We saw Roger Daltrey in concert a few weeks ago. My boss had tickets but something came up and she couldn't go, so she gave them to us. Daltrey did all the songs from Tommy, and then followed them up with some Who classics like "Miles and Miles" and "The Kids are Alright." This was in a much bigger theater, but the fans still made their love known across the vastness.There was a guy in the very front row, front and center, who pumped his fist and played air drums and air guitar, and every so often he turned to face the rest of the audience as if to say, "Isn't this the most awesomest thing ever?!" At one point Roger Daltrey had just finished singing, "Tommy can you hear me?" and even though we were way up in the balcony, someone behind us yelled out, "ROGER CAN YOU HEAR ME?!" I loved that.
At the TMBG concert, we were really close to the stage, and John Linnell was set up with his keyboard near the edge of the stage, which made the energy exchange between the band and the audience seem more immediate. I felt that these good vibrations flowing around me much surely be giving years back to me, and I decided that this would be my path to longevity--coming to see fun, upbeat rock bands in small clubs like this.
John Linnell and John Flansburgh started They Might Be Giants in 1982 and they themselves were showing a little wear --we were close enough I could see the bags under Linnell's eyes and the gray stubble on his chin----but their material was as fresh and creative ever. Linnell grabbed an accordian or bass clarinet when the usual mix of keyboard and guitar just wasn't enough, and both guys surprised the audience with a loopy routine they performed with two sock puppets, who went on a psychedelic journey and then sang a song called "Spoiler Alert" off the new CD. Flansburgh used a flash light to divide the crowd into "People" and "Apes" and made us chant our identity to prove our domination over the other. The People (our group) won.
Perhaps it was this heady mix of great music and whimsy that inspired the bouncing guy next to us to suddenly yell, "I want to have your babies!" Yeah, that's what I love about rock concerts.
! Name-dropping footnote: !
Roger knew the drummer in the band. When he heard the guy's name, he realized he had known him in Miami. The drummer was handing out TMBG stickers to the audience after the show, so we went up and Roger said hi and gave the guy his name, and the guy was like "Roger?!! Great to see you , man. Wow, you haven't changed!"
Roger's brother-in-law from his sister's first marriage, David Cowles, is a graphic artist and created the video for TMBG's song "Mesopotamians."
Oh yes, we know people. Or at least I know people who know people.
John Flansburgh and John Linnell not quite so young but still qetting their quirk on.