TVD Live Shots:
Young the Giant at Aragon Ballroom,

You know them for their nostalgic hit “Cough Syrup,” but Young the Giant is here to dedicate their voice to a higher cause than just catchy tunes.

Releasing their first album in four years American Bollywood, lead singer Sameer Gadhia writes on the band’s Instagram, “This record is about identity, belonging, family, sacrifice, love, and mysticism… About the country and world we saw in the mirror of our deep isolation, and our fight to reclaim who we are; who we deserve to be.”

From Gadhia’s Indian heritage to Persian, Italian, Canadian, and British band members, the group is no stranger to immigration struggles, racism, and the isolation that is felt around the world today—a point that hits just the right note throughout their album without ever feeling preachy.

While the raw vulnerability of this release will be enjoyed through streaming platforms in your day to day life, seeing the emotion of the band live was short of a religious experience. Looking back on pictures from the opening act, you can see the goosebumps on Gadhia’s arms as he sang to the crowd “American dreams were hard to conjure, without a bed to sleep in.”

Split into four acts (Origins, Exile, Battle and Denouement) the performance drove the crowd through a melodic journey. One of just six limited live shows to promote the album, Chicago fans understood the grandeur and assignment of the show at Aragon Ballroom—dance, sing, cry, and laugh from the first note to the last.

While their new album brings attention to heavy issues, make no mistake—every song performed still had that Young the Giant magic. Airy, bright yet emotive and layered, their set ended with crowd favorite “Silvertongue.” As the venue full of different nationalities, beliefs, and religions swayed in harmony, it felt monumental in more ways than one.

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