By Jesii Dee
Kicking off my 2017 concert season with Young the Giant may have been the best worst decision ever: Best because DANG they are great live, but worst because now every other show will have an uphill battle to top them after last night.
Walking into the packed Marquee Theatre, I was able to catch the latter half of opener Lewis Del Mar. They had everyone in the sold out crowd’s attention as they rock-and-rolled their way through complex indie tracks with the lead singer’s unique and beautiful vocals leading the way. Their first single "Loud(y)," which is all over the radio currently, closed out their set and prompted the first of many sing-a-longs of the night. The energy and anticipation was palpable in the room as they wrapped up their set.
Young the Giant took the stage among their Home of the Strange flags as seen on the album art, kicking things off with their single "Something to Believe In." It was quickly evident that this was going to be one of those shows where the crowd knew every single word to every song, a feat I've seen only at cult-level followed bands that have been around much longer than Young the Giant. 100 gold stars to them; a sold out crowd knowing all the words to both your oldest and newest songs? Heck yes.
Singer Sameer Gadhia's showmanship throughout was equally impressive. With a flick of his hair, his voice soared clearly across the venue hitting the impressive notes off songs "Mind Over Matter," and an all-time classic, "Cough Syrup." They kept the energy turned up for the first half of their hour set, and only slowed things down for "Firelight." Requesting that when he points to the crowd, that we should all turn our phones flash lights on, I wasn’t sure what would happen. When he sang the words "I could be free, in a dream..." everyone had their phones out and the entire place lit up like it was noon in July. It was rather ethereal, and one of the coolest crowd interactions I've seen happen, which was a testament to Young the Giant's ability to keep the entire crowd’s attention.
Bouncing between songs off all three of their releases, the show had a good balance overall. As mentioned, everyone around me was having their best day ever singing along. Bringing out a ukulele for the start of "Art Exhibit" off Home of the Strange, it was the only other really quiet moment during the show. They closed out the main set with the title track "Home of the Strange" and no one tried to even move out knowing that an encore was around the corner. Thankfully, it was only about two minutes before they were back on stage and jumped right into the thunderous "Amerika" and closing out the whole thing with their song "My Body" before saying their final goodbye.
I can’t imagine a better way to start off a new year of concerts, and I greatly look forward to seeing Young the Giant play again soon. Lewis Del Mar mentioned they would be back soon too, and I highly recommend seeing them live the next time they come through.