Only weeks after releasing their second studio album, Mind Over Matter, in January, California-based band Young the Giant hit the road. As expected, the quintet stopped by their drummer François Comtois’ hometown, to the pleasure of their Montreal fans, who filled up Métropolis to the brim on March 6.
The opening act was the shy but oh so talented Australian singer-songwriter, James Keogh, better known as Vance Joy. Accompanied by three musicians, guitar around the neck, Vance Joy warmed up the numerous rosy cheeks still getting in the room with a romantic and sunny cocktail of folk-infused guitar playing. Hypnotized by his other-end-of-the-world accent, the crowd warmly welcomed each of his songs. The young man eventually gave up his guitar for the ukulele, his signature instrument, to perform “Play With Fire.” After expressing his profound gratitude for being part of Young the Giant’s tour, Vance Joy ended his set with the certified triple platinum and very jovial tune, “Riptide.”
After waiting for what seemed like forever, Metropolis’ lights went down as Young the Giant’s members discreetly entered onto the stage and played “Slow Dive.” Continuing with their most recent album, the band played “Anagram” then dropped “It’s About Time,” first single off of Mind Over Matter. Not surprisingly, François saluted Montreal folks in the language of Molière, before digging into their eponymous album with “I Got.”
Sprinkled with frontman Sameer Gadhia’s funky dance moves, some cowbell and tambourine here and there, the energy of the party on stage translated into the audience. The energy was pumping out at every corner of the room, and the mob had no choice but to sing along, jump and raise their arms high up.
As a pause to a pretty intense first half, lead singer Gadhia presented the atmospheric ballad “Firelight,” a “song [that] is about letting go,” said Gadhia. It was a moment of great emotion, blessed by Gadhia’s powerfully warm voice.
The band left the stage after “Crystallized,” the second single off their latest album. As is the case every time a wonderful band disappears before an encore, fans expressed their love by chanting “Ole Ole,” clapping their hands, and stomping their feet. Visibly, Young the Giant couldn’t resist the seismic admiration, and came back to perform “Apartment.”
What followed is probably one of the most important highlights of the night. Yes, Young the Giant had a surprise for us Montrealers:
“We actually never played it in front of an audience. François will sing,” said Sameer.
The die-hard fans guessed right: their local, beloved drummer would borrow from Belgian sensation Stromae with a cover of “Formidable,” as they had done previously a few weeks earlier on a Dutch radio station.
The boys went on with the pop-ish Mind Over Matter and landed a final, crowd-favourite bomb, “My Body,” satisfying the souls who wanted more. Bodies literally went wild, as many aficionados tried their hand at crowd surfing; Gadhia himself strolled down the stage. The entire encore was quite a spectacle and concluded the nearly two-hour performance on a blissful note.
Undoubtedly a successful night, Gadhia confessed: “Montreal, I’ll tell you something… and no, I don’t say this every night: you guys are BY FAR the best audience”. There is no wonder every head in the room thought: “But guys, you make it so easy. C’est vous qui êtes formidables”.
– From Afar
– Red Eye
– Wasted Time
– All I Ever Wanted
– Play With Fire
Young the Giant:
– Slow Dive
– It’s About Time
– I Got
– Guns Out
– Cough Syrup
– Formidable (Stromae cover)
– Mind Over Matter
– My Body