Three hours before doors opened for the Young the Giant show, a handful of fans had already congregated in front of Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel. Although the Irvine, CA band was thousands of miles from home, their Providence fans quickly lined up until they wrapped around the entire block. The crisp New England weather didn’t stop them from waiting in line for a great spot near the stage.
Immediately after doors opened, eager fans rushed toward the barricade. Conversations overlapped as people of all ages filled the intimate venue. The chatter continued for an hour until a mysterious audio clip of a monologue interrupted the noisy club. Lewis Del Mar, an experimental pop duo, took the stage along with three guest musicians. Danny Miller’s dark and hypnotic vocals set the tone for the night as he led the band into “Such Small Things.” The New York band’s enthusiasm was contagious, reflected by the roar of the crowd’s cheers. While playing “Tap Water Drinking,” Miller glided toward the barricade. The energy in the room was electric. The crowd’s dancing intensified with each guitar riff until the band finished their set with their debut single, “Loud(y).”
The crowd buzzed with anticipation as everyone waited for Young the Giant to take the stage. Shouts and cheers greeted the band as the lights dimmed to muted shades of blue. The smoky room hid the musicians while they walked across the stage.
Suddenly, the stage lights flashed vibrant shades of purple and magenta. Everyone immediately began jamming along to the opening chords of “Jungle Youth.” Colorful lights swirled around the room, illuminating the flags that lined the stage. The designs on the flags are featured on the cover art for the band’s latest album, Home of the Strange. Details from the album art were also visible on the stage’s backdrop, a white canvas with rugged mountains.
Sameer Gadhia, the rock band’s vocalist, waited for the crowd to quiet down after playing a few songs. He asked fans to turn their phone lights on when he pointed toward the crowd, hinting at an old classic, “Firelight.” The quiet strums of a guitar blended with Gadhia’s soft vocals, drawing fans into the surreal and dreamy atmosphere. Fans swayed along to the rhythm of his voice until it was time to turn their flashlights on, slowly illuminating the faces in the room. Scattered lights dotted the mountains on the backdrop, creating a starry effect, until darkness enveloped the audience along with the fading harmonies of the song.
After an hour of dancing and singing, Young the Giant ended the sold-out show with their newest album’s title track, “Home of the Strange.” Yet the catchy bass line left the fans wanting more. They chanted for an encore until the band returned. Gadhia walked onstage in his famous glittery jacket while a familiar instrumental floated through the room. The crowd roared as the band began playing “Amerika.” It felt like the night was just getting started. Fans grooved along with the band as the musicians jumped into their hit single “Silvertongue”; then, ending the night with a bang, guitarists Eric Cannata, Jacob Tilley, and Payam Doostzadeh launched into the familiar intro to “My Body.” Hundreds of voices echoed the lyrics back to Gadhia as he bounced toward the barricade, directing the microphone toward the fans. Even Danny Miller of the opening band Lewis Del Mar joined in on the fun, surprising old and new fans as he crowd-surfed toward the stage. Miller eventually reached the band, jumping along with Gadhia to the classic single. Francois Comtois banged away on the drums, wrapping up the wild night with a catchy beat.