Rashomon: They Might Be Giants at the USA Science & Technology Festival in Washington DC.  

April 28, 2014

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What follows are four sets of photos, each set in chronological order, taken on this super fun trip to DC to see They Might Be Giants.  
Four different perspectives of the day.

Alan's Trip to Washington DC and The USA Science & Engineering Festival

We drove up the night before the USA Science & Engineering Festival so we could get there early the next day. 

The room we got for super cheap at The Hilton outside of DC was one of the nicest rooms we have ever stayed in.

Way to go Holly (Our Travel Agent!)

Time to go to sleep!


They next morning.  They Might Be My Family all fan-shirted and ready for fun!

Taking the train into DC

Walking over to the Convention Center

Once inside, we learned we pretty much had to get our seats and then sit there all day.  We got there just after 9am.  The first Giants show was at 1pm, the second at 4pm.  A long day of sitting begins.  But at least there were other shows all day to watch.


First on stage was Arthur Benjamin The Math Magician!  
Here he is autographing a Birthday Math table he made on stage during the show for Sasha!

Throughout the day there were trivia contests and prizes for the kids sponsored by National Geographic.  
Sasha won her question about whether male drone bees have stingers.  They do not!


During a bathroom break, Anya gathers some swag from one of the 100's of Science display booths.


The Science Cheerleaders!

These were all professional NFL Cheerleaders who were also PhD's or Masters level Scientists!

Holly and Sasha listen to one of the hosts, a high school girl (maybe Sasha one day?) giving a speech about not letting fear of failure stop you from trying.

The first They Might Be Giants concert of the day gets closer!

We are sitting 5th row center stage on the isle.  

Crowded around us are a few thousand more.

Before the show, the MC's announce they have 2 They Might Be Giants autographed CD/DVD sets for trivia winners.
The question:  A human brain creates enough electricity to power...    answer: a light bulb.
Luckily the lady with the microphone was right next to us and Sasha won again!
This was super awesome because TMBG were not signing any other autographs that day.

They Might Be Giants!

They are Sasha & Anya (and Alan's) favorite band in the world

And we get to see them 2 times live today for free!


This is the concert event of the decade for us!

Anya knows all the words!

Video: 9 Pirate Girls.MOV

John sings

Video: 2SongsHittinMe.MOV


Anya worships

Video: Birdhouse.MOV

They asked the crowd to move closer to the stage.  See the little girl in the red shirt?  Standing right in front?  That's Sasha!

Guys on stage = They Might Be Giants. Little girl in red “Science is Real” shirt and huge glasses standing right in front of them = Sasha. 

Having your favorite band in the world looking right into your eyes while they are singing you all your favorite songs = Priceless. 


John Flansburgh personally handed her a sticker after the show!

Next up:  Bill Nye The Science Guy!

Bill supported the 2006 reclassification of Pluto from planet to dwarf planet by the International Astronomical Union.

So he had to defend that first

Then he regaled us with lots of other neat work he's done.

Video: Nye_Obama.MOV

Finally he suited up for some science

This little Stirling Engine in his hand is powered by the room temperature


This experiment with his guests from "Dancing with the Stars" showed how a burst of air from the red bin travels in a ring shape.

Video: nye_sci1.mov

Video: nye_sci2.mov

Here he is freezing stuff with nitrogen

His assistant eats a frozen graham cracker the puffs out the gas.

Here they have heated up water in a metal barrel and then drop it in a cold kiddie pool and it implodes.

Next up Mike Rowe.  Host of Dirty Jobs and narrator for Deadliest Catch!

Mike told us the story, the super gross story, of how he got the idea for the show Dirty Jobs.


It included a sewer, lots of poop, roaches and rats.

They Might Be Giants return for their second show!

They played a lot of new and very old songs

Video: FamousPolka.MOV

Which was super fun

Video: ParticleMan.MOV

I've seen them 3 or 4 other times and I rarely hear the same songs

They have great stage banter

And they change up the songs and lyrics is a fun way for the fans.  
Both shows were amazing!

Video: Istanbul.MOV

Video: Istanbul2.MOV

As we left the convention we stopped at a few of the 1000's of displays we missed because we had to hold our seats all day.
Next year we will return to see the actual convention. 

Sasha's Trip to Washington DC and The USA Science & Engineering Festival

After I took these pics of Sasha waiting for the shuttle bus to take us to the train station, I handed over the camera to her for the day.

Well actually I must have handed it over after these pictures on the train.

In the train station and then some DC architecture

China Town and the massive Convention Center

On our way to the stage


Seats saved.

Sasha takes a pic from her seat.

Then rushes the stage and gets closer to They Might Be Giants than she ever dreamed was possible.


Super up close.


Here's bass guitarist Danny Weinkauf singing "I am a Paleontologist"

Video: Paleontologist.MOV

Bill Nye does Sci


Back down in front for the second They Might Be Giants show.

Even closer this time.

Dr. Worm on the drums!

Video: Dr Worm.MOV

Sasha get's a personal concert from her favorite band.

Goodnight Sasha!  It was great seeing you!

Back to the train station

Through Chinatown where we stopped and ate dinner.

That night Sasha said “this was the best day of my life.”  Thanks TMBG.  You are Awesome.


Holly enjoying the King size bed in our amazing room.

Anya's Trip to Washington DC and The USA Science & Engineering Festival

After Anya saw me give Sasha a camera for the day she wanted one too.  Luckily I had a bag full of cameras, so what follows is Anya's view of the day.

Approaching DC by rail

Anya loves taking photos out the windows of trains


I see her producing a nice coffee table book in the future?


Anya Daddy Selfie


In the station

At the festival

Sasha at the They Might Be Giants merchandise table

For the Math Magician, I asked Anya to let Mommy take the pictures while I video taped.

Sasha gets to go up on stage as a volunteer!

Professor Benjamin did a cool trick with the numbers of her birthday

It was really fun

Everything adds up!

Video: Math Magic.MOV

Great job Sasha!

Shirts of the Family.  Match the shirt to the person wearing it!

Anya retakes control of the camera

Then later that night I take it back to capture some shots in the pool.

Swim kids

Pool Fools


An amazing day in DC.

Alan's Phone's Trip to Washington DC and The USA Science & Engineering Festival


So that I could Facebook our fun to the world, my phone also took some pics that day!


Sasha winning her autographed CD/DVD

They Might Be Giants first set

The kids songs


Bill Nye again

Science is real!


Sasha grabs the phone and takes her famous selfie with Bill Nye in the background.  Awesome.

Mike Rowe inspires us with stories of filth

And the day ends with another set by TMBG.  

We were over the moon!  


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