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Going in the Right Direction

March 12th, 2012

Young the Giant – Terminal 5 – March 9, 2012

One of the biggest bands on the rise last year, Young the Giant began it in January 2011 with a sold-out show at Mercury Lounge, and then went on to have such a good year, a song of theirs landed on Glee. So it was unsurprising that they not only sold out Terminal 5 on Friday, but also put on a great show to back it up. For the band, however, it was a surprise: “We never thought that we’d be playing here,” mused lead singer Sameer Gadhia.

The set was filled with plenty of tracks off debut album Young the Giant, including easygoing show-opener “I Got” and the now Glee-certified hit “Cough Syrup.” What defined the great show (and what separated a great young band from the more one-and-done newbies) was how Gadhia and his bandmates presented their new material. One of the band’s lone criticisms is that a lot of their early material isn’t varied enough, but these songs were more fleshed out melodically. The writing and execution of the new tracks immediately sounded more developed, and to top it off they brought out a string quartet to complete the robust sound they’re clearly seeking.

That complexity helped the show stay lively, too, as Gadhia ditched the hip shaking and tambourine playing for the keyboards behind him—and when he wasn’t taking a turn on them, guitar player Eric Cannata would hop on for a verse or two. With their chests out after boasting their new direction, Young the Giant returned to the familiar for the encore, and gave the still wild crowd some favorites in “Apartment” and a stage-dive-enhanced “My Body.” —Sean O’Kane

Photos courtesy of Hilary J. Corts | www.hilaryjcorts.com