Photos & Review: They Might Be Giants @ Humphreys (San Diego, CA)

They Might be Giants (Brooklyn, NY)
April 13th, 2023
Humphreys Concerts by the bay in San Diego, CA

They Might Be Giants delivered a colossal performance that stirred up the audience’s inner child AND left San Diego dancing in the rain.

Some people believe that a little of a good thing goes a long way, but if you have ever seen They Might Be Giants live you probably feel quite differently. They are a lot, and I mean A LOT to take in. They are an unpredictable slow burning musical fire that just grows in every direction engulfing the entire audience. An audience composed of devoted fans that seemed to span four generations, mostly sporting TMBG paper hats that were handed out at the merch table, most of whom were also there for the second time this week. Like I said, more of a good thing is always better and it seems San Diego felt the same way. They Might Be Giants sold out Humphreys for two consecutive nights. A double celebration that fans waited a long time for.

This tour was originally scheduled for 2020, a year that marked the 30th anniversary of the release of their iconic album Flood but was then rescheduled twice. First, because of COVID-19 and then again when John Flansburgh was involved in a car accident. I have to say I was a little worried when even the sky chimed in, pouring down over their first concert, but luckily on this second night people came prepared with ponchos and blankets at hand, all ready to have a blast no matter what. Luckily, the light rain was not enough to tame the band’s flames.

Like expected the setlist was heavily built around Flood, but they did not just simply play the album in its entirety. The band divided the evening into two sets separated by a brief intermission that allowed fans to savor each track never missing a note.

The setlist was a 32 song testament to their amazing career spanning over the course of 4 decades. The setlist was like a musical trolly that carried the audience on a phenomenal journey, a trolly no one wanted to leave from at the end of the night. No highlights per se but the fact that they performed “Sapphire Bullets of Pure Love,” in reverse was pretty amazing -even more fun was to see the video of the performance also in reverse as the opening of the second set.

I have always loved the accordion, so every time John Linnell played it, the evening just got that much more perfect for me. Also, the horn section joining them on stage added a playful layer to their sound that just amplified the joyfulness of the audience. Their energy on stage spilled over the audience. I mean never before had I seen so many people -young or old dancing like that. At one point during “Particle Man” I saw a man twirling in his wheelchair and I think this says a lot about the band.

While everyone had a blast, to say TMBG are a blast live isn’t quite enough. Not only does it not fully express the magnitude of their performance, but it also almost undercuts the experience of the audience. Because besides being fun, humorous, and potentially from outer space, the guys are gifted and versatile musicians that completely transported each of us out of reality.

If you have missed their San Diego stops, you still have a chance to see them as they announced a new show for July 15th at the Belly Up Tavern. Tickets are available for presale starting the 18th and go on sale for the general public on Friday – TMBG -Belly Up .


Set 1
Synopsis for Latecomers
When Will You Die
Someone Keeps Moving My Chair
We Want a Rock
Your Racist Friend
Let Me Tell You About My Operation
Moonbeam Rays
Lucky Ball and Chain
Road Movie to Berlin
Particle Man / Rocket Number Nine Take Off for the Planet Venus

Set 2
Memo to Human Resources
Minimum Wage
Whistling in the Dark
Hot Cha
The Darlings of Lumberland
Women & Men
I’ll Sink Manhattan
Theme From Flood
Birdhouse in Your Soul
Istanbul (Not Constantinople)(The Four Lads cover)

Encore 1
The Mesopotamians
Don’t Let’s Start

Encore 2
Doctor Worm

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