Concert Review by JD Alvarez
Oscar Wilde once said “There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.” Well, that is definitely not Sameer Gadhia’s problem these days. The charismatic lead singer of the OC-based quintet known as YOUNG THE GIANT was featured this weekend at two sold out shows at the historic Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles. This was by far their biggest headline show to-date. In a very Wilde-esque atmosphere, the crowd gathered on a cold and slightly windy Saturday night waiting to see the newest alternative music darlings. Also on the bill was Cincinnati’s Walk The Moon.
As for YTG, they have risen quickly the past year to earn such a headline gig. They have made the usual stops on their upward ascension to super-stardom. Stops like Lollapalooza, Sasquatch, The MTV VMA’s and toured with bands like Incubus. Another landmark, the band has played at the career enhancing KROQ Acoustic Christmas Show, and that quirky little Weenie Roast of theirs. As luck would have it, success keeps coming to this hard working band as they have been nominated in six categories in next month’s OC Music Awards in Anaheim. It has been quite the year, and homecoming so-to-speak.
YTG has come a long way since they were known as the Jakes. They formed in Irvine, California back in 2004. The band includes lead singer and tambourine player extraordinaire Sameer Gadhia, guitarist Jacob Tilley, Eric Cannata also on guitar, bassist Payam Doostzadeh and François Comtois on drums.
As for the crowd, it was multi-generational and very enthusiastic about seeing the Orange County phenoms. However, first up was Walk The Moon. The Cincinnati-based foursome did very well for themselves in their 45-minute set. They put out a very energetic and musically diverse sound. Their drum performance was very impressive. In short, they warmed the crowd up nicely. I think we will hear a lot more from these cats.
After a brief intermission, the crowd was ready for the kids from the OC. YTG opened with “I Got,” Gadhia came out with high energy; inspired most likely by his screaming female fans who were everywhere. They played most of the songs off their album. The light show was very impressive and gave the show a very epic feel. Some of the stage props also helped with the look and feel of a much larger event. As for the band, Cannata and Tilley gave an inspired performance. Doostzadeh and Comtois also gave noteworthy efforts. In the end, it was Sameer who the crowd came to see, and he did not disappoint. He has crafted his art very well over the past year. He showed a command of the stage that he honestly did not possess a few years ago. His growth as an artist and performer is evident.
The crowd lost their proverbial mind when they segwayed into songs like Guns Out, 12 Fingers, Empire Ants and Camera. They also went into their current alternative hit Cough Syrup. Sameer paid homage to Whitney Houston who passed earlier in the day as he went into this song. The crowd sang along to the chorus “life’s too short to even care at all,” a very classy and subtle dedication. The crowd seemed to appreciate the manner in which it was not an over-the-top dedication. It was short, sweet and very heartfelt.
As for their encore, YTG came out to Islands. They closed with their mega-hit My Body, a song that catapulted the band to godlike stature after their appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live (JKL) not long ago. The kids from OC brought the house down with this final tune. In the end, the crowd got what they came for.
YTG is currently on tour and several shows are already SOLD OUT. Go to their website at www.youngthegiant.com to see when they will be in your neck of the woods, and if tickets are available. Their music is available in store and on iTunes.