Young The Giant Hollywood Palladium 2/7/14
"I remember when trying to sneak into an LCD Soundsystem show here," Young the Giant lead singer Sameer Gadhia mused about a quarter of the way into the band's 90-minute set. "We've come a long way since then."
And indeed they have. Working their way up through the rigid L.A. club scene saw Irvine's great rock hope play at the Whisky-a-Go-Go and The Roxy before garnering national attention with "My Body" and "Cough Syrup." Though they filled the Wiltern their last time in Los Angeles, selling out the Palladium was an entirely different beast.
On the third night of the band's massive 2014 tour, they showed that they've grown comfortable with the rigors that come with being a band on the rise. In the few years since their last proper headlining tour, the quintet added an arena-ready light display. However, it seemed like Young the Giant were a bit reserved and tense at times.
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Sonically, the songs off their new album, Mind Over Matter, were a logical addition to Young the Giant's set list. The translation from the record to the live show was solid. Gadhia's soaring vocals and drummer Francois Comtois' thumping chops were in top form, especially on the band's sing-a-longs. Yet it seemed like the band is still searching for it's next big hit. It's easy to see why many are projecting big things in the sense that they'll be playing outdoor amphitheatres and arenas. The one thing that they've nailed is their version of anthemic indie rock. There isn't a band out there that can blend those sensibilities, well, at least to make it sound good. Young The Giant can and that's their major trump card over many of their indie contemporaries.
But the big takeaway from the show wasn't so much the performance nor the set, but what lies ahead for Young The Giant. The next year will determine if they're going to make the leap to headlining big theatres to arenas. That seems like the next logical step for the quintet. The intricacies of the new songs translated well in a live setting, but there wasn't a standout track amongst the newer ones that audiences really went nuts over. While this makes for a deeper set, it makes you wonder if that will translate on the same channels that helped the band's rise in the first place. These are questions that don't need to be answered right now, but more a consideration as the band moves ahead. As of now, there aren't any Orange County shows announced. But as the summer rolls around, don't be surprised to see the band return home a bigger and more polished product than they right now.
The Crowd: There were two girls hoisted on their significant others' shoulders. They were well behaved. Their brethren from the '80s would have been very disappointed.