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They Might Be Giants: Unapologetically Millennial

The infamous Geek Rock duo is touring internationally- and Detroit was the latest stop. On May 17, 2024, I had the opportunity to sit in on one of their two nights in Detroit. Along with WXOU General Manager Logan Pizzurro, we were able to sit in the front row and witness the spectacle of their live performance.

The band, founded in the early 1980s by John Flandburgh and John Linnell, has steadily grown in popularity over the years. Initially seeing most of their fame from their children's songs, the duo has released a large repertoire of songs spanning multiple genres. In their live show, their set list mainly focused on their ska pieces.


At the beginning of the show, both of the Johns made it incredibly clear that this show would not be like anything anyone in the audience has seen. No openers, the setlist was called out at random, and it was clearly stated that they would be going some “F*cked up sh*t’’. The audience, mostly middle-aged adults with 401k’s, ate this act out of the band’s hands.

“I see we have a photographer in the audience, stay here for a while, because we’re going to be doing some f*cked up sh*t later on’’ claims Flansburgh

While John Flansburgh's claims were dramatic, they never rang true. Sure, the acts were incredible and they did perform with a large stick from one of the John's front yards, but no truly dramatic event or act occurred. Now, could it be that they wanted to say ''f*ck'' on stage? It’s possible.

Linnell with his accordion

The only truly messed up thing they did on said caliber was rush through “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)”. While not the best song out of their Repertoire, it is my personal favorite by They Might Be Giants. Probably the band's most well-known song, it was clearly the band's least favorite to play.

Overall, the concert was surely an experience. It was unlike anything I've ever seen before. While most do not expect it- They Might Be Giants is incredibly nostalgic for Gen Z, writing theme songs to classic kids' shows (Mickey Mouse), and providing soundtracks to other infamous projects. While aging, they are still incredibly relevant and are a large presence in pop culture today.

If you, (dearest reader), ever have a chance, I urge you to attend a live show of theirs, you won't regret it.

Additional ''They Might Be Giants'' Concert Photos

Photo Credits to Maya Kirksey- Property of WXOU 88.3 FM Oakland University. All rights reserved.



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