Thursday, September 15, 2011

In the Big City: Code Monkeys and Mesopotamians


Remember how, for our anniversary, Hubby got tickets for us to see Lady Gaga?  He is not what I would call a fan, but he went, and enjoyed it, for me.  Well, last night, I got to return the favor, and have a blast in the process.

Hubby has been a fan of the band They Might Be Giants since he was a teenager, and he has been to see them twice in the past.  When we found out that they would be playing in Pittsburgh around the time of his birthday.  When we later learned the opening act was Jonathon Coulton, whom we both adore, it clinched our decision to go.


When we arrived at the theater, our first visit at the Byham, I was struck at the beauty of the place.  After taking in all the old, weathered beauty, I noticed the odd conglomeration of people in attendance.  The crown was pretty much a 70-30 split of techie nerds and hipsters, and parents with small kids.  Kids, why?  Well, They Might Be Giants made several kids albums, so parents will bring kids to see them.  Note to those parents, this is not a kids' show.  Kids' shows are at 1 pm on a Saturday, not 8 pm on a Wednesday.  Also, kids' shows do not contain F bombs.  A little look at Jonathon Coulton's lyrics for Hubby's favorite song, First of May, would tell you that tickets for your 5 and 7 year olds for this show would be a bad idea.  But I digress. (Note, JoCo did not play this song last night, thank goodness).


We were so stoked for JoCo, as Hubby calls him, as the opening act.  And he was nothing short of amazing.  He sang a good mix of older songs and songs from his new CD.  His voice, at times, as a beautiful purity about it which one can overlook due to the hilarious and ridiculous nature of his lyrics.  He has a simplicity, a childlike quality that makes his music so enjoyable, he was really a joy to watch.  I was sad when his set was over.

Now, this is the point where I admit I know exactly 3 songs that They Might Be Giants have put out over their nearly 30 year career.  Thank goodness they played all 3 last night, as well as many other great songs.  I was amazed that a group of nearly middle aged men could bop around the stage for 90 minutes and have such a blast.  It was so clear that they were having fun, and it made me have fun as well.  They really pulled the audience into the music, and speaking as someone who was not a diehard fan, this was one of the best performances I have seen in a long time.  The music is bouncy, and you just have to move.



The only complaint I have is the quality of the sound on both acts.  I am not sure if it was the acoustics of the theater, or the settings of the mics, but the vocals were really drowned out by the instruments.  It was if there was too much music layered on top of each other.  It made the vocals sound really muffled.


Otherwise, we had a wonderful evening, and I plan on the next time we see them knowing way more than 3 songs.  Oh, and if you are wondering about why I titled the blog this way, Code Monkey is a Joco song, and Mesopotamians is a song by TMBG.