Young the Giant Hits Home with Audience, Produces More Mature Album


On Wednesday, Nov. 28, Young the Giant returned to St. Louis for the fourth time since their “Home of the Strange” tour. After performing at the Pageant during the fall of 2016, they returned in the spring to Hollywood Ampitheater. They were also WashU’s WILD free concert in October. Young the Giant is always a treat to watch and their performance last week at The Stifel Theatre was no exception.

105.7 The Point’s series of HoHo shows began last week with Smashing Pumpkins, followed by Young the Giant in their countdown to Christmas. Since then,The Point has hosted Bastille, Nathaniel Rateliff and within the next few weeks, Meg Myers, The Revivalists and Dirty Heads.

As everyone started to trickle in at the beginning of Wednesday’s 7:30 p.m. show, the curly-haired Grandson took up the stage starting with his song “6:00” from his only EP, “a modern tragedy vol. 1.” But his confidence wasn’t dampened by the fact that he was a newcomer because he had a bigger message to spread. Before each track, Grandson compared the relevance of the lyrics to the national scene, especially in this political climate. Once he started, the crowd went wild as he began to mesh together slow rap and ballads that energized into trap music and loud guitar riffs that almost create the passionate child of Twenty One Pilots, a responsible voice in mental-health for example, that needs to be heard.

By the time Grandson had finished, a larger crowd had filled the auditorium with the anticipation for the appearance of Young the Giant. For a slightly underwhelmingly-sized audience, Sameer Gadhia opened “Oblivion” with a bang—to which the audience roared and rightfully so.

“Mirror Master” is arguably the 10-year-old indie rock band’s most mature album, one that excels lyrically. Their previous effort, “Home of the Strange,” allowed for the five-piece California band—including Jacob Tilley on guitar and synthesizers, Eric Cannata on guitar and keyboard, Payam Doostzadeh on bass guitar and synthesizer and Francois Comtois on drums—to navigate through their identity as non-natives in America to show the world who they really are. In this show, they embrace this new album, showing everyone what they feel.

“Mirror Master” has a tune for every emotion, even the ones you didn’t think you had. With unique melodies such as “Panoramic Girl,” a song that showcases Gadhia’s vocal range as he reminisces on the blurred memories of a romance echoed by a mystic chorus laid over constant upbeats, and “Brother’s Keeper,” which expresses a cry for help in times of loneliness. With this album that hits home on so many levels, a good chunk of music lovers don’t even know what they are missing. In this concert, Gadhia carried the vulnerability and maturity of the album on stage, as he shed the eccentric red-orange jumpsuit that he flashed throughout the “Home of the Strange” tour and replaced it with a monochromatic black tee and grayish khaki pants.

The band set up the stage under a foggy-colored backdrop creating a vibe that they thrived in. The set continued with “Something to Believe In,” a hit from the last album, went back to the classics such as “Apartment” and slowed it down with the track “Titus was Born,” making use of the “noise-stand” and the looping device. These knick-knacks along with Gadhia’s creativity are what make the band excel live. Although they use standard instruments, Gadhia’s “noise-stand” holds random sounds such as a horn and a tambourine that accentuates the melodies and make them quirky. Gadhia’s voice blends in perfectly with the articulate hard-hitting words and softer voice in places in “Amerika.” The smoothness of his lower register transition into the upper register, with occasional and purposeful voice breaks, brings the audience into his mind, making them feel what he is feeling. Gadhia’s ability to bring more strength and rigidity to his voice is showcased in the beat and electric guitar-driven “Mind Over Matter.” After playing their classic hit “Cough Syrup,” the band played some of their underdogs such as “Nothing’s Over” from “Home of the Strange” and “Call Me Back,” a single that was one of the four released prior to the release of “Mirror Master” (the others being “Simplify,” “Superposition” and “Heat of the Summer”). Gadhia accompanied these tunes with groovy moves, jumps and swinging.

After a blink-and-miss break, the band returned to play their unannounced encore that consisted of “Superposition,” the angsty “Tightrope,” Silvertongue” and the hard-hitting “My Body.” Immediately after, Gadhia announced the band’s exit and audience members started to leave while other confused audience members, convinced that they were going to get an encore, stayed to hear the gems from “Mirror Master” such as the titular song and “Panoramic Girl.” But unfortunately, Young the Giant left us wanting more after cutting their set about five songs short.

Young the Giant will be back in Missouri on Feb. 17 at The Blue Note in Columbia.