Written by Susie McKeon
This past Friday, September 8th, I had the pleasure of seeing one of my favorite bands, Young the Giant at Ascend Amphitheater in Nashville, Tennessee. The southern California indie-rock band are known for their empowering songs such as “My Body”, “Cough Syrup”, and “Something To Believe In”. Young The Giant are currently on their second leg of their Home of the Strange tour, promoting the album released on August 31, 2016.
Joywave opened up the night, playing a short seven song set consisting of songs from their albums How Do You Feel Now? released in 2015, and Content, released this past July. Although the crowd seemed unfamiliar with their work, Joywave still kept the audience humming along, waiting in anticipation for the headliner.
Next came Cold War Kids. Cold War Kids have built a solid reputation for themselves among the indie scene, with a discography spanning six full-length records, the most recent being L.A. Divine, released this past April. Cold War Kids always know how to put on a good show. Even though they knew most of the audience was not there for them, this fact did not faze them as they powered through their twelve song set. Frontman Nathan Willet alternated between singing, playing guitar, and pounding away on the piano, making sure the audience would leave with a desire to check out their work.
Finally, it was time for Young the Giant. This was my second time seeing them, but I was still amazed at how their set had changed within only a few months. Last time I saw them, their stage set up consisted of Home of the Strange flags and a simple backdrop. This time, however, the band graced the stage in front of a large LED screen flashing visuals and art pertaining to each song. Frontman Sameer Gadhia enthralled the audience with his charismatic stage presence and energetic dancing. The band played a vibrant set consisting of 18 songs which kept the crowd dancing and singing along gleefully. Halfway through the set, however, the audience was in for a treat. Well known for their Vevo “In The Open” sessions, where the band plays songs outside in an acoustic manner, Young the Giant brought out ukuleles, bongos, and acoustic guitars to play "Art Exhibit” and “Firelight”. This was a clever way to bring something that exists online to a real audience. Little did the audience know that the band would bring out another surprise at the end of the show. For one of their final songs, “Mind Over Matter”, the band brought out The McCrary Sisters to harmonize along with the band and finish off the show on an extremely talented note, followed by crowd favorites “Jungle Youth”, “Silvertongue”, and “My Body”.
Overall, this was an incredible show that left me smiling and waiting in anticipation for new works by any of the three bands. If you have the opportunity to check out Young the Giant on the rest of their tour (dates found here http://www.youngthegiant.com/tour), do yourself a favor and see them live. They always put on an unbelievable performance.