Gang of Youths
May 16, 2022
We may be only a few months into this year, but Gang of Youths is easily topping our list of best shows for 2022. Descending upon The Fillmore on a chilly Monday night, Australian alternative rock band Gang of Youths delivered an electric, euphoric set, crafting a night that will be forever seared into our memories.
Blue and white lights danced across a hazy stage, anticipation building as lights and sound wash into the dark room. A single beat of a drum starts the crowd clapping, Gang of Youth bounding to the stage admits thundering applause. ‘The Angel of 8th Avenue,’ a song from the new album Angel in Realtime, opens the set. The classic alternative rock sound instantly moves the audience, people on and off the stage dancing along with the music. ‘The Man Himself’ and ‘The Heart is a Muscle’ continue the euphoric music moment, each song propelling a flurry of laughter and dancing. ‘The Heart is a Muscle’ is a clear fan favorite with audience members singing and dancing along to the punchy rock tune.
After some banter from stage, in which vocalist David Le’aupepe gleefully thanks the audience for being out on school night, ‘Tend the Garden’ oozes from the speakers. The song is an incredible auditory telling about David’s father working in his backyard, the desire to cultivate beauty wherever you see it anchoring the lyrical content. As purple hues fill the room and the violin flitters through the air, the song brings a transcendent moment that transports the rock energy with waves of joy and hope. It is moments like this that make Gang of Youths more than just your average alternative rock band, they are painters and artists who transport the audience through story and sound.
The band disappears to the black caverns offstage and David is left, solo and struggling with a piano chair, and he launches once again into a story of his past and family. ‘Forbearance’ swelled with sentiment, the glow of the chandelier lights reflecting the warmth of the song. A special moment in time, the audience responded to the on-stage beauty by standing silently and breathing it all in, some shedding tears as they reflected on their own family.
The band returned and the tempo picked back up with ‘Spirit Boy,’ ‘Brothers,’ and ‘Unison.’ The songs about “dancing, drinking, and being good to one another” certainly crafted a flurry of dancing, the audience throwing off the moment of peace for moments of contained insanity. The mood was high, and Gang of Youths continued the party ethos with ‘Let Me Down Easy’ and fan favorite ‘Magnolia.’ As the songs morphed the lights dimmed and warmed, yellow lights peeking through as ‘The Deepest Sighs, the Frankest Shadows’ streamed in. Fans swayed and sang along loudly, filling the room with energy. The set ended with ‘In the Wake of Your Leave’ before an encore that included ‘Goal of the Century’ and ‘What Can I Do if the Fire Goes.’
Gang of Youths has perfected the live show; a balance of energy and poignancy, the night was filled with joy and laughter, tears and sentiment. More than merely a live show, Gang of Youths welcomed you into a warm party, crafting a night that made you feel connected to not only the band but to the audience around you. Gang of Youths show at The Fillmore was something to experience, marking the night as one that will be difficult to top.