Article and Photos by : Michael W. Bright
Louisville, KY – I should have seen the signs. Although I recognized the name from their three top five alt rock chart singles, I was not familiar with Young the Giant’s music. But…I should have seen the signs. The under-twenty-one young women, with light makeup, fresh clothes and a fair amount of skin made up a good percentage of this audience. The fact that this same demographic dominated the first ten rows should have tipped me off that this would turn out to be an electric, kinetic, frankly stunning act so potent that young fans stood, screamed, extended their arms and did all they could to just touch someone in the band. Rehearsed to perfection, Young the Giant was opening up the first night of a summer tour, and the fans met them head on.
To say that Cold War Kids was the opening act is inaccurate. It was more like a double bill since more than a few fans bought tickets just to see them, confessing that they didn’t know all that much about the headliner. Polished and soulful, they commanded the stage for more than an hour thrilling fans while making new ones.
By the time YTG’s frontman and vocalist Sameer Gadhia leaped onto the stage in fashionable white coveralls, lustrous thick black hair rising and falling with the energy of each song, with pleading eyes and cupid countenance, the security guys were already braced. The 28 year-old California native of Indian heritage charmed the audience and controlled the pace while the choreographed band stalked the stage, barely pausing for a breath between the eclectic mix. After a long year of unwashed guitarists in white Hanes, Levi’s and Chuck Taylor repros, (socks optional), it was surprisingly refreshing to see designer facial hair, coiffed locks and sharply tailored clothing made for the stage.
A quick poll of what appeared to be a nearly sold-out audience revealed an 18 to 45 year-old bias of fans who had only known about this ear and eye catching band for the past two to four years. I wasn’t the only newbie who left with a good impression. YTG’s “Home of the Strange Tour,” hits theaters and amphitheaters through the end of September.