Two They Might Be Giants Shows, Twenty Years Apart

I went downtown to see They Might Be Giants this week.  The show was at a venue called The Beacham, which is a large and venerable concert space right on Orange Avenue.

TMBG did a rollicking two-set show, where they served as their own opening act.  They made jokes about Clippy the paperclip and Phil Collins, and kept their audience thoroughly entertained while doing a combination of their classic hits and their new stuff.

While I was listening to “Whistling In The Dark,” I was thinking about the last time I saw this band- twenty years ago, at another show in Orlando.  They Might Be Giants played at the Embassy Music Hall in 1998.

When I lived in Orlando twenty years ago, the Embassy Music Hall was part of my regular rotation of clubs to go dancing; they had a Wednesday night (as far as I can recall) with lots of 80s and new wave music. I have loads of great memories of dancing there with friends.

The Embassy was a nondescript looking place, situated on the side of a big shopping plaza off Lee Road.  It was kind of nondescript, even when it was open.  This picture is long after the Embassy closed, but it didn’t look much different than this:

The Embassy had a regular rotation of amazing concerts.  While I was looking up details about the club for this post, I found information about shows by Love and Rockets, KMFDM, Green Day, Primus, The Damned, Collective Soul, The Lemonheads, Snoop Dogg, Marilyn Manson, Anthrax, and Iron Maiden, all from the late 1990s.  I got to see TMBG there in ’98, and I also saw Project Pitchfork and Front 242 there.   The Embassy Music Hall was awesome.

Sometime in 1999, Embassy shut its doors and was re-imagined as a sort of after-hours raver club called Cyberzone.  Cyberzone had problems right away, including multiple drug arrests and the deaths of two people.  I never went during the Cyberzone era, and the club closed in early 2001.

I hadn’t heard much about the place in a really long time, so while I was getting ready to see They Might Be Giants for the first time in two decades, I checked in on the old place with some Google Map action.

It’s a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Grocery now.

Yup, that sounds about right*.

*There’s a song on TMBG’s 1992 album Flood called “Minimum Wage.”  It uses a whip-crack to hilarious effect.   Seems about right.

What happened to your favorite places from years ago?


10 thoughts on “Two They Might Be Giants Shows, Twenty Years Apart

  1. Wow! I spent about 40 Saturday nights a year at the Beacham, for what was known as Aahz, in the early 1990s. I saw the Orb and Skinny Puppy there, amongst many others. Kimball Collins and Dave Cannalte were the resident DJs. Also found time to see DJ Icee at the Edge, and went to the Abyss often enough.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Robert

    The club I started going to when I was 15 (a normal club, the only clubs in Germany that won’t admit minors are nightclubs) and about which my 10 year older cousin asked me back then “does the Zarap Zap Zap still exist?” – yes, it still exists some almost 30 years later and it’s still the same (it’s now run by the son of the owner from back then).


    1. Ugh, I went to Zap once 2 or 3 years ago. Just once. Never again. Totally not my scene.

      I went to the Detroit area for a funeral between Christmas and NYE and learned that all the sports stadiums I frequented in my youth (there was a time when I thought I cared about baseball and basketball and hockey) are being or have already been torn down, de-commissioned, or even violently exploded.

      I know ALL the words to “Minimum Wage.”

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yeah, for sure. A bunch of us former Santaluces Chiefs got together there a while back (like 2015ish) for a mini reunion. Phil M, Mike P, and Sean… erm. I can’t remember Sean’s last name. He was in Reflections with me. My brain is just *crap* these days.


  3. I’ve seen TMBG live twice here in Indianapolis, in 2007 and 2011. Both shows were different and funny and pleasingly electric and flat-out fascinating to this long, longtime fan.

    They’re scheduled to return in February to the 2011 location, a local long-running club called The Vogue. The venue’s lineup nowadays tends to be a mix of local hip-hop DJs, ’80s cover bands, and assorted one-hit wonders and other has-beens from the past 30 years of lower-half-of-the-Top-40. Technically I guess that counts as “still going strong”.

    As for the 2007 venue: the Music Mill was a short-lived hot-spot, an industrial-chic mini-warehouse with no seating, just one big concrete standing space and a couple of cash bars. It died in 2009 and today is an average sports bar…which, come to think of it, has been the final fate of many of our small-scale concert joints from yesteryear.


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