I don’t really know what exactly prompts a spontaneous road trip to see an educational band on a Friday night, but that’s what happened.
This is how my brain remembers it:
Me: What time are we going to that Russian disco?
Brandon: Probably around dinner time…
Me: Damn. I really wanted to see They Might Be Giants tonight…
Brandon: What?! They’re here tonight?
Me: Yeah... At The Pageant.
Brandon: Let’s go!
Me: But what about Russian disco?
Brandon: We can just go earlier.
Me: (GLEE) I’ll go tell Dan!
After arriving at the Russian Disco (Surprise! I was actually serious about the Russian Disco part), we sat down for dinner because, the Russian disco is actually a Russian Shiskabob Restaurant that conveniently turns into a disco after seven. It’s named Astoria and they cook food. Real food. Food for men. It’s as if before God flooded the world, he stopped time and let the Russians of this restaurant perfect their cooking techniques on all the animals that were about to be wasted. My strong desire to appear Scottish lead to my ordering of the lamb kabob. Hm… Mutton.
Cleaning our teeth, we made our way to the Loop, bought our tickets, and made our way into a crowd primarily composed of people over the age of 30. They Might Be Giants gained fame for creating extremely catchy tunes that dealt with themes of science and education. So, the audience resembled some kind of cult science convention; glasses were everywhere (the kind that rest on your ears), lots of buttoned shirts, and a distinct absence of moshing.
The main claim of the concert was that They Might Be Giants would perform the entirety of their platinum album, Flood. Flood came out in 1990. It’s a weird experience going to a concert where everyone celebrates an album that was released before your birth.
The actual show was more or less disappointing. You could barely hear the vocals for most of the songs. They did do a brief sock puppet segment where they sang some of their children songs. That was pretty good. And they did make fun of James Cameron for a couple minutes, which was thoroughly entertaining.
The best part of the evening was after the show though. The band was handing out hundreds of bumper stickers for free. I was about to grab one, when a man with cut in front of me and started yelling at one of the guitarist. He said something to the extent of: “Thank you so much for playing fingertips because I lost a mine in an accident this week.” His hand shot up as we all stared in horror; bandages covered his hand and his pinky, ring, and middle finger were all bloody stubs. He then gave us a big, goofy grin and a giant thumbs up before slinking into the night.
Joel Samson Berntsen (What I like About You- The Romantics)