These are the shows that make my inner 14-year-old scream. I’d never claim to be Young the Giant’s biggest fan, but like many others my age, the words “one more spoon of cough syrup now” live unfetteredly nostalgic in my head. Even with such a smash hit right out the gates, the band has managed to put out continuously awesome rock music for more than a decade, cementing themselves as one of the more underrated, but genuinely beloved bands of their generation. There’s not much that could’ve been done to make this show bad, but even so, I don’t think I was quite prepared for it to be so damn good. The openers for the night were TALK and Milky Chance.
Though I may have been stoked (understatement, I know) to see Young the Giant live, it was TALK who solidified this show for me. From the very first moment I heard “Run Away to Mars” I’ve been enamored; that song is on a near constant loop in my subconscious. Now that I can say I got to hear it live, I consider myself incredibly lucky. Though the fledgling singer is still in the early stages of his career, the joyous magnetism of his stage energy is impressive, and just the right amount of weird. Speaking of being impressed, never have I seen someone flick a crock twenty feet into the air off their foot and deck it on the way down; TALK’s one of one, and I plan on being around to see his star rise in the coming years, live and in the flesh hopefully.
I didn’t realize till they began playing, just how much Milky Chance I’d listened to; unsurprising in the age of streaming, but still a pleasant realization. This set was just straight-up fun, to photograph and to watch. I couldn’t tell you what genre Milky Chance is, but it’s always a good time wherever the rhythm settles. The ending of this set may be one of the most electric I’ve seen in recent memory; with guitarist/harmonica player Antonio Greger ripping off by far the best harmonica solo I’ve ever heard, and I’ve come across quite a few. There aren’t too many huge German bands that I can speak of, in fact, Milky Chance is the lone group in my music vocabulary; regardless, like all great music, theirs transcends language and culture.
Not unlike their music, Young the Giant attacks the stage with relentless energy. Sameer Gadhia is the smooth moving rockstar we all need; and while his vocal capabilities are well documented, seeing him tear up the stage, clad in seamless Indian garments, was truly a sight to behold. Though I’ll admit it’s been some time since I really sat down and listened to Young the Giant, as they played deeper into the set I was reminded just how much of their music has been a part of my life at one time or another; from “My Body” to “Mind Over Matter”, with each needle drop the familiarity came rushing back. I don’t think this set could have been any better if I’m being honest, one hell of a way to end my first foray into Merriweather Post Pavilion. I can only hope the next adventure matches the high.
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