Back in 1996, I was dating a young man who liked music, especially jazz and blues. I went to visit him (it was a long-distance relationship, after all) and he said we were going to see Koko Taylor. I, not being a jazz/blues fan, had no idea who she was, but she promised me that it would be fabulous.
We headed out in the rain to the concert venue. Turns out Koko was singing in the side lounge, and They Might Be Giants were performing in the main ballroom. I might have wanted to see They Might Be Giants instead. I might have mentioned it to the boyfriend. He might have looked hurt. We went to see Koko.
She was great, don't get me wrong. Amazing voice, great band. But it was a tiny room and the boyfriend wanted to be right up by the speakers. I literally thought my ears were going to bleed. And everyone was smoking (which was something you could do back then), so I could barely see, and the air was so thick I probably could have chewed it.
I still wanted to see They Might be Giants.
Fast forward to the late summer of this year. The boyfriend is a distant memory and Koko Taylor has gone to the great blues hall in the sky. They Might Be Giants are still around, performing all of their favorites, and some new stuff, including a series of songs from children's albums (score! instant gifts for the nephews and niece!). J gets a flyer in the mail that, as part of their homecoming weekend, his alma mater is having They Might Be Giants for an afternoon kids' show AND an adults-only show later in the evening. For $5. We get tickets.
They did not disappoint. They had a great opening act (check out Guggenheim Grotto when you get a chance--their harmonies are amazing). They played a rocking 90-minute set, filled with songs old and new, hysterical stories of the last time they were in town, and a lot of fun. We had a blast.
SO worth it. And only $5 ;)