It's been a while since we've seen They Might Be Giants live in concert. First and foremost, they haven't been doing a ton of shows playing their children-friendly material. Secondly, there's been other stuff going on. So it was fun to head to Central Park for the August 12 SummerStage Family Day.
The weather was cooperative, the trip was fairly uneventful (except for accidentally taking the A instead of C train and having to disembark and wait for the right train). Seating was on the turf as bleachers were packed. But that was not a problem. And Bill Childs traveled much further from Austin, Texas to play a set of science-related songs before the concert.
The band has been (mostly) together for more than 15 years in this iteration, so they're all on the same page. And in New York City, their home base, they got a raucous welcome reception from the moment they took the stage. The gaps between children's CDs means that a large portion of the toddlers in attendance had probably no idea who the band is. And rarely does TMBG acknowledge their Disney connection (for instance at the Disney Block Party show at the Nassau Coliseum) and play something like their theme for Mickey's Playhouse.
Robin Goldwasser guested to sing "Electric Car" and Danny Weinkauf got to rock out with "I Am A Paleontologist." His new CD, TOTALLY OSOME! also got a shoutout from John and John. The show was crammed with tunes, to the point that a five-year-old sitting behind me said rhetorically, "These guys know a lot of songs."
Indeed they do. TMBG sang so many songs that the show turned into a full set – not a truncated 45-minute "kiddie-length" performance. In fact, during the 80-minute duration of the show, so many parents with smallfry fled the grounds that we were able to move much closer to the stage. And despite Ben's insistence that "Don't Let's Start" would be the encore, it was "Dr. Worm." But Matt was impressed (despite a 20-minute nap) and looks forward to his next exposure. But who knows... by their next kid's concert in our area, he might be able to transport himself. Telepathically, even.