From This Might Be A Wiki

Fan Recaps and Comments:

Tickets were $13.50 advance, $14.50 day of show. This show also included the earliest known performance of I'll Sink Manhattan.

"Giants come up big" by Roy Nelson
The Montclarion, May. 5, 1988:

John Linnell and John Flansburgh are just two guys from Brooklyn, really. They play variously-influenced (mostly Western, but also some folk and jazz) pop music, although They look like the last two people you'd expect to show up at a rock concert, let alone on stage at The Ritz Friday night. Oh, yes, and They, as in They Might Be Giants, are also the closest thing to a "can't-miss" concert band this side of — well, you fill in the blank.

Yes, this kind of high praise can sound skeptical. How can a band this obscure be this good? Well, it could have something to do with the fact that their record company is based in Hoboken. And it could have something to do with the fact that they play the kind of upbeat, fun, yes, even corny kind of music that would (almost) never reach the airwaves.
But when it comes to the stage, the duo has what it takes to keep you interested — and then a whole lot more. All this coming from a reviewer who had never previously heard a lick from the band.
With the use of Linnell's accordion and sax, Flansburgh's guitar, and various other instruments and props, They Might Be Giants commanded The Ritz. No, Linnell and Flansburgh didn't add a backup band. That would've ruined the personal atmosphere. Instead, the two of them played sometimes acapella, sometimes with no bass or drums and sometimes to a pre-recorded rhythm track.

They Might Be Giants started off the show strangely slowly, playing the offbeat ballad, "Kiss Me, Son of God," then jumped right in with the energetic anthem, "Put Your Hand Inside the Puppet Head," and the bluesy "32 Footsteps."
They proceeded in machine-gun fashion, rattling off each catchy 2- and 3- minute pop song one right after another, stopping on occasion to reveal the equally hilarious origins of a particular composition.
If titles of songs say anything (and in this case they most certainly do), then you can imagine the amount of fun a crowd can have with songs like those mentioned above and others like "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)" (played with only accordion backing the two Johns' vocals); "I'll Sink Manhattan" (a funny-sad love song); "I Saw My Baby Wearin' Santa's Beard"; (no explanation necessary); and "Purple Toupee."

Two of the many, many highlights in the show that ended far too soon were: The six-foot long "stick — a personal friend of the Joshua Tree," says Flansburgh, which was nothing more than a tree branch used to hit the floor; and "The Hats" — two four-foot high, red velour hats the Johns wore of an acapella number called "Shoehorn With Teeth."
The band hit on all cylinders with selections from their self-titled first album and from their upcoming LP, Lincoln, "Like the President," says Flansburgh. They ended the first set with the mock-metal song, "(She Was A) Hotel Detective" and the quirky, catchy pop single, "Don't Let's Start."

For the first "six minute encore," They performed "Number Three" ("There's just two songs in me/And I just wrote the third"); "I've Got A Match, Your Embrace And My Collapse"; and "Alienation's For the Rich (And I'm Feeling Poorer Every Day)."
They returned for a second encore with the hilarious pub polka sing-along, "I Hope That I Get Old Before I Die." Linnell played his accordion sans a backing track as Flansburgh held cue cards, leading the crowd in singing the chorus.

Don't make any mistake about the quality of the songs, though. The music was good, the "band" sharp, the lyrics poignant, if not funny. But the gist of They Might Be Giants is the sense of humor. And if anyone has even the slightest bit of that, They Might Be Giants is a must-see band.