LIVE: Young the Giant @ the Palace Theatre, 1/30/19
Review by Mark Alexander Hudson
The Irvine, California band really didn’t need to work hard to win over the partisan crowd, who were with them from the first note, but they still turned in a well-balanced, tight set that clocked in at around 80 minutes.
I must confess to only being familiar with their radio hits, “Cough Syrup” and “My Body,” but I was mightily impressed with the scope of their material. Young the Giant are kinda alternative and kinda pop, but thankfully avoid the po-faced pretentiousness and saccharine banality that often afflicts both of those genres.
Frontman Sameer Gadhia has an easy rapport with the audience, goofily dancing along to the music, at one point nearly pulling off a moonwalk that almost ended up in a fall, much to the amusement of his bandmates. He also possesses a fine expressive voice.
The main thrust of the band’s sound is the dual guitar attack of Jacob Tilley and Eric Cannata, who capably handle both moments of chiming beauty and atonal skronk. Bassist Payam Doostzadeh shares keyboard duties with the two guitarists and holds down the bottom end with drummer Francois Comtois, who also provides strong harmony vocals to Gadhia’s lead.
There were many highlights: I particular liked the delicate acoustic flavored “Titus Was Born,” the yearning “Apartment” and, in total contrast, the closing joyous, almost glam-stomp through the irresistible “My Body.”
All in all, a great show from a band at the top of their game.
Opening act Sure Sure performed a pleasant set of ’80s synth-pop, somewhat reminiscent of China Crisis. Their ’80s influence was for all to see when they faithfully covered Talking Heads’ “This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody),” which had the crowd singing along good naturedly.
YOUNG THE GIANT SET LIST
Heat of the Summer
Titus Was Born
Something to Believe In
Mind Over Matter
Call Me Back