This article was originally published in the River City News on April 15, 2018
Tuesday night, Covington’s Madison Theater will play host to quirky alt-rock veterans They Might Be Giants, as they embark on the 50-city US leg of a world tour, supporting their twentieth studio album, I Like Fun, released in January.
Founded in 1982, TMBG have exhibited a longevity far exceeding most bands. Co-founder John Flansburgh attributes their endurance either to their experiences together as teenagers, or the early days of the band. “(Co-founder John Linnell) and I are fortunate that our goals are pretty much in sync whether it’s just our creative output or professional stuff,” he said.
I Like Fun captures that TMBG essence that long-time fans should appreciate, while creating a welcome opening for the casual or new fan. Whether you were one of the first callers to the original Dial-A-Song (now in its third iteration at www.dialasong.com), or only know “Particle Man” from the video featured on Tiny Toon Adventures, I Like Fun is, well, fun. The album is full of the same hyper-melodic hooks and kinetic performances fans have come to know and expect from the band, and takes the music to a place that feels both fresh and familiar.
Given that fresh familiarity, perhaps it is no coincidence that the album was recorded at the brand-new Reservoir Studios, which is itself the site of the legendary Skyline Studios, where the band recorded their seminal album Flood. The band will be performing Flood in its entirety at the Madison Theater.
“It’s fun and it’s a special event,” Flansburgh said of the album performance. “It can also be a bit of a memory test, which stings even worse when it seems like everybody in front of us knows all the words!”
With many of the shows on the tour already sold out, and the rest selling quickly, Flansburgh is looking forward to playing for packed houses. “Before we hit the stage it feels like the show is a big success.” Though he does remind everyone that, while the TMBG has been a favorite for fans of all ages for many years, the shows on this tour are in bars: “Please get a sitter.”
Now in their thirty-sixth year, the energy on I Like Fun, as well as the intensity of their live shows, They Might Be Giants show no signs of slowing down. But where do they see themselves in another ten years? “Who knows! Probably suing some Broadway producer for a TMBG musical we shouldn’t have given permission to,” said Flansburgh.
TMBG (and we) might be older than they’ve ever been (and now they’re even older) but the Fun is as fresh and new as ever.
They Might Be Giants perform Tuesday, April 17 at 8 p.m. at the Madison Theater (730 Madison Ave., Covington). Tickets are $27 in advance/$30 at the door, and the performance is strictly 18 and up.
Visit madisontheateronline.com or theymightbegiants.com for more information.