By: Adam Harrison (@AdamRHarrison) –
Young was the crowd and giant was the sound at Kool Haus on Friday night when Californian indie rockers, Young the Giant, brought their sophomore album, Mind Over Matter, to Toronto.
They opened their 90-minute set with the same three songs that mimic the start of the new album, including their latest single “It’s About Time”, a track that high-fives the sound of The Mars Volta and set a good pace the rest of the show.
Although Young the Giant are relatively new on the scene, having released their debut album in 2010, they’ve spent over a decade together (spending some time under the name The Jakes). Their comfort on stage and the tightness of their sound showcased their experience. Lead singer, Sameer Gadhia, fronts the band with confidence. His voice echoed around the venue, as he hit every note with passion. Despite some awkward, sensual dance moves, he played the role of the captivating frontman.
Although the set took off at an accelerated pace, it lost steam and became weak halfway through due to a medley of songs that were too new and polished to be memorable yet. Either way, they had some work to do to rope the audience back in.
Luckily, the show’s conclusion paid off, as if we’d been climbing to a summit the entire time. Young the Giant closed the main set with the hit single “Cough Syrup”, which created buzz and synchronized claps for an encore. The band returned with another single and leading song from their debut album, “My Apartment,” a mellow yet vibrant tune.
What followed was a risky move, in the form of a cover of Belgian singer, Stromae’s “Formidable”, a French song that most Torontonians likely have never heard before. However the result was easily one of the most impressive moments of the night. Not only was it a great song, but drummer François Comtois’ vocal performance nearly showed up Gadhia and proved to be a beautiful moment.
The title track, “Mind of Matter”, which has all the elements to be the next single, came next. The high-pitched Ooo’s that follow the powerful line “’Cause I’m a young man after all” sent a shiver down your spine.
Lastly, the night ended with the band’s smash hit “My Body”. From the sound of the first deep drum roll, the audience erupted with excitement. By the time the chorus came around, everyone was in the air, arms flailing. It’s easy to say, the night ended on a high note.
Despite a few dull moments, there is no doubt Young the Giant have a bright future ahead of them. They are excellent musicians and have a strong following of people hungry for good music. With a few more hits to back them up, they’ll be a band you can’t miss.