TVD Live: Young the Giant at Beachland Ballroom, 2/26

There’s this certain feel to a sold out-show. A nervous energy, if you will. You can feel all the bodies sardined together rustling with kinetic energy, ready to explode when the bands take the stage. Last Sunday’s Young the Giant/Walk the Moon show at the Beachland Ballroom was no exception. 

The stage goes pitch black, and the room gets quiet. We wait together in anticipation, our breaths aligning. The lights slowly rise, and the five gentleman of Young the Giant take the stage. Our ears meet the opening chords of the tune “I Got,” and vocalist Sameer Gadhia takes the mic as the lights rise and nearly blind the crowd.

Young the Giant has that laid-back feel you’d expect from a band from California. Theirs is a sound fueled by beachy guitars, steady bass, and set work that is laced in delicious cymbals. Vocalist Gadhia is a tour de force, shifting easily through his vocal range. His veins pop on the side of his neck, and he spins into an explosive dance frenzy; I was left waiting for that tambourine to explode like a dandelion head, tiny gold circles chiming to the ground.

The band performed their new single, “Cough Syrup,” in the middle of their set. This single has a feel entirely different from tune the “My Body” that got Young the Giant stuck in your brain last year. It’s mellow, but the orchestration is thick, lacing guitar parts overtop the solid drumming, with Gadhia’s vocals resting nicely on top. This tune had the people around me singing along. Be sure to take your daily dose of this hit, if you’re not already. Its guitar tremolos are sure to cure your blues.

Supporting Young the Giant this evening was Walk the Moon. In all of the ways that Young the Giant are a mellow, centered experience, Walk the Moon are a spriteful, frenetic explosion of vigor. Walk the Moon is a four-piece that brings a youthful exuberance to their music through their usage of synth/keyboard, bass, impressive guitar lines, and a kick-drum that won’t quit. Pair that with painted faces that capture the free-spirited nature of the band, and you’ve got your soundtrack to summer.

Most notably, Walk the Moon delighted the crowd with a cover of Bowie’s “Let’s Dance.” This was more than a cover; it was a tribute paid to a man that has obviously influenced the sound of a young band from Cincinnati that is taking the world by storm. This tribute was a funk explosion oozing bass and exhibiting the swanky quality of lead vocalist Nicholas Petriccia’s voice.

If you’ve yet to catch these bands live, you’re in luck. They’re not done touring quite yet, and lucky for you, they’re slated for some music festivals this summer. Keep your eyes (and ears) peeled; these guys are NOT to be missed.

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