Written and Media by Alli Haug.
Young the Giant was formed in Irvine, California in 2004. Sameer Gadhia (the vocalist), Jacob Tilley (guitar), Eric Cannata (guitar), Payam Doostzadeh (bass), and François Comtois (drums) all met in high school. They decided that after they graduated they would form their own band. The band drew off of their European and Middle Eastern roots to create their innovative sound. They decided to put college on hold to focus on their music. This decision paid off. In 2009, the band was opening for the Kings of Leon. In January of 2010, the band changed their name from The Jakes to Young the Giant. This is also when they began to record their own album with Joe Chiccarelli. It took some time for their self-titled album to physically be available. In 2013, the band started working on their second album with Justin Meldal-Johnsen. The album, Mind Over Matter, was released in January 2014. This album was able to make it to number seven on Billboard Top 200. This last August, Young the Giant released their third and most successful album to date, Home of the Strange. They began touring to promote it.
Young the Giant were performing at the Pageant in St. Louis on September 29. The Pageant is a great venue because of how small it is. No matter where you are in the building, you have a great view of the stage. The tickets are normally pretty reasonably priced. I was able to get my tickets for about $35. It was completely worth it. Walking into the Pageant that night was electric. You could feel the excitement in the air. Even waiting in like for a t-shirt couldn’t ruin people’s moods. Everyone was just excited to be there.
After finding the perfect t-shirt then comes finding the perfect spot. Sometimes you have to be aggressive and push your way into a tight spot but it’s always worth it to get the best view possible. After finding the perfect spot, the waiting game begins. Counting down the minutes to when the owner is going to come out and praying that it starts on time.
The concert started at 8 o’clock on the dot. The opener was Ra Ra Riot. Having never really heard many of their songs, I was skeptical but their performance won me over. The lead singer, Wes Miles, had an amazing voice; the notes he was hitting were completely insane. But one of my favorite parts were the
violinist, Rebecca Zeller, and bassist, Mathieu Santos. They just added something different to the music. The audience was swaying along to the beat, having a great time. The band played songs from their new album “Need Your Light.” Ra Ra Riot was an extremely impressive and fantastic opener.
There was about a ten minute gap between sets. Those ten minutes felt like a lifetime while the stage was rearranged and guitars were tuned. Then the lights went dark and Young the Giant came out on stage. The energy in the room doubled and then tripled; it was insane. The crowd roared when the lights went up and the lead vocalist, Sameer Gadhia–wearing a bright orange jumpsuit–stepped forward into the spotlight. Not going to lie, there might have been a tear or two shed when the concert started. They started the night with “Jungle Youth” from their newest album and played a variety of songs from all of their other albums for the rest of the night. They made sure to include crowd favorites like “Cough Syrup” and “Mind Over Matter“. The crowd ate it up. The set had insane energy, even when some of the slower songs were performed. Sameer Gadhia’s epic dance moves also helped to keep the night going as well. They ended the show with a three-song encore of “Amerika,” “Silvertongue,” and one of my favorites, “My Body“.
Overall, the night was amazing; Young the Giant did not disappoint. The whole night was unforgettable. There is just something about a concert that makes you feel at peace. You can let go of all the stress or worries of everyday life and just be present. You are surrounded by people who love the same music as you, everyone dances and sings loudly and, more often than not, badly and off key– but no one cares. If you ever get the chance to see Young the Giant in concert I would highly recommend it. And if you need someone to go with you, just give me like twenty minutes, I’ll find my band tee and I’m good to go!