Have you ever been so entranced by a concert that you don’t even care or realize what’s happening around you? Well, that’s what happened to me last week when I took a trip to see Young the Giant in concert at Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel in Providence, Rhode Island.
Admittedly, the venue wasn’t the best place for a concert. At least not in the mezzanine, where I was sitting. Lupo’s, which has an old theater feel to it, has ushers that walk around with flashlight and take people to their proper seats. Plus, I was pretty far back in the mezzanine so the view of the stage wasn’t great either, regardless of whether people were moving in front of me.
The openers, Lewis Del Mar, had some nice songs including “Waves,” but for much of their set it seemed like the amps and the volumes of the various instruments were terribly unbalanced. I was worried that my friend and I had just picked the absolute worst place to see my favorite band.
Despite all that, no matter how many times the venue’s ushers would take people to their seats in front of me or how high up I was in the mezzanine, I didn’t care. The moment Young the Giant came onto the stage and opened with “Jungle Youth,” I was in another element.
I had seen Young the Giant live once before at Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware in 2014. Back then, the band from Irvine, California was touring to promote their second studio album “Mind over Matter” and could play almost every song they’d made. On this tour, the Home of the Strange tour, they had to be significantly more picky with their setlist. And in my opinion, they absolutely killed it.
Young the Giant played all my favorites from their eponymous first album, including their hit singles “Cough Syrup” and “My Body.” YTG also played “I Got” and “Apartment” from the same album, both of which give a great summer vibe that has you longing for the beach. Even though it’s the middle of the winter, lead singer Sameer Gadhia’s voice whisked me away to Misquamicut Beach. That’s how good he is and how good the band was.
YTG slowed it down with “Firelight,” during which the crowd lit the venue with their phone flashlights, and again with third album hit “Art Exhibit.” For “Art Exhibit,” Gadhia played in front of a starry background and pulled out his ukulele, wooing the crowd with the memorable lyrics, “Oh, the genius of pain, without a name, pouring like rain.”
However, the band’s best performance of the night unquestionably came on the song “Nothing’s Over,” from their most recent album. The combination of Gadhia and back vocalists Eric Cannata and François Comtois sounded absolutely beautiful live. During an instrumental portion of the song, Gadhia pulled out cowbells and danced around the stage with infectious energy, while the rest of the band members each did their own funky dances to the beat.
The main set concluded with the song “Home of the Strange” with loud screams from the invested crowd lasting about five minutes before Young the Giant came out for an encore. The encore consisted of the first single off of the band’s third album, “Amerika” and the aforementioned “My Body,” along with the funky “Silvertongue.” Just before “Silvertongue,” Gadhia put on a gold jacket and really got the fans jumping before it was time to go home for good.
I can be a bit of a fan girl for Young the Giant. They are my favorite band and I won’t deny it for a second. But this concert was truly like no other. No matter how many times someone was in my way or how far away I was, this was unquestionably the best concert I’d ever been to. I will most definitely be seeing Young the Giant again sometime soon on their tour.