The Maturation of Young the Giant

July 17th, 2012

Young the Giant – SummerStage – July 16, 2012

Continuing the excellent run of shows there this summer, Central Park’s SummerStage welcomed the lush, echoey West Coast rock of Young the Giant to its friendly confines last night for a sold-out Monday show. In addition to playing some of their songs that are already hits, the band also displayed plenty of depth. Sameer Gadhia’s smooth voice is one of the first things you notice when initially hearing this group, and last night’s show was much the same way as he eased into the opener, “I Got.”

But it didn’t take long before the frontman mixed in a little grit with the track’s louder parts while swaying back and forth between his various microphones. Beneath that, Payam Doostzadeh added his jumpy and memorably melodic bass lines as the two guitar players, Jacob Tilley and Eric Cannata, filled the rest of the space with their ringing, ethereal style. And then things got really good: Gadhia joyously introduced new material—which really stood out—throughout the rest of the set, most of which he said was the beginning of a new album tentatively scheduled for next spring.

There was great momentum to the uptempo and driven songs, featuring motoring triplets from Doostzadeh and even bigger-sounding drums from Francois Comtois. With the band’s rapid success, it’s sometimes hard to lose track of how recently they’ve emerged, but these songs were a sign of their first big maturation, and they will complement the existing material well. But most important, the fans loved it. Instead of taking a break to rest in the heat while Young the Giant tested out the new songs, they stayed packed in tight, hands in the air, barking their approval. —Sean O’Kane

Photos courtesy of Mina K