Young The Giant Warehouse Live March 22, 2012
Young The Giant's gig Thursday night sold out weeks before they even hit town, moving away from it's previous locale, Fitzgerald's, to the larger confines of Warehouse Live, and still managed to also sell out that venue.
All of this happened virtually under the radar, mind you. Most mainstream rock fans probably hadn't even heard YTG or knew they were a band aside from seeing their name on festival schedules.
The California quintet brought their debut album material and a handful of new or obscure tracks to town for a 13-song set Thursday night in front of what looked like a beach-ready club crowd. The audience skewed young and radio-bred, a testament to the staying power of their lead singles "Cough Syrup" and "My Body."
This is a group still riding the wave of one debut album and some scattered tracks populating the interwebs, so by the time another album hits -- preferably soon, in this music climate -- they could be playing sheds like The Woodlands Pavilion by the fall. Their next Houston appearance will be at Free Press Summer Fest in June, which is sure to bring more to the bandwagon.
Obviously the star of this show is lead singer Sameer Gadhia, who managed to evoke -- big gulp, you guys -- none other than Morrissey, a fact maybe lost on most in the crowd.
"The dude that sang that song from 500 Days Of Summer and hates meat?"
Yes. That Morrissey. (Don't hit me, Abrahan.)
The stage drama, the bellow, the tortured lyrics are all there. Little wonder that even the Mozz himself once declared them one of his favorite new groups. I'm not sure if that will entice more adventurous listeners their way, but it should be a pretty good stamp of approval.
With that set in place, the group builds compact -- yet anthemic -- melodies around Gadhia's voice, echoing the morose business going on in the lyrics. His Indian background is undeniable. These are vocal lines not in the modern-rock lexicon, but sweetened enough to not sound like piddly coffeehouse fare.
For one, the newish-old cut "Shake My Hand" carried a very big stick on Thursday night. It's been floating around since around early 2009, but was fresh to the crowd's ears.
This is one band that will not at least one or two more albums to supremely catch fire, but for now they are creating enough smoke to attract ears. They strike a balance between mellow and bastard with all the right moves.
Personal Bias: If I say that the band's self-titled debut reminds of the last King Of Leon album Come Around Sundown and I use that as a reason for why I like YTG is that cool, or should I say something else? No? Then it sticks.
Opener Beat: Newcomers Grouplove converted a few with their manic co-ed Modest Mouse-ness, though their name confused a few last night. Groundlove, Groundhog, Groovelove, it's all good as long as you buy a shirt, right?
The Crowd: Can you say hella collegiate? Plus, a lot of mothers carrying armfuls of merch. School night be damned.
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Overheard in the Crowd: "It's like a Bollywood Kings of Leon".
Random Notebook Dump: My rock writer instincts tell me that I shouldn't put much stock in a band touring behind one album and selling out shows to teens and college kids., but fuck it, it's 2012, I'll bite. Anything goes, and sometimes it can go swimmingly. Lana Del Rey played Saturday Night Live with a handful of tracks floating around on random blogs. Welcome to the future.