Young the Giant excel at Boston show

A review of Young the Giant at the House of Blues on March 8, 2012

, Contributing Writer

Thursday night at the sold-out House of Blues, Young the Giant proved that practice does in fact make perfect.

In a world where the Internet means anyone can become a star and perform in front of millions a week later, it’s easy to forget how important the traditional path to fame – playing to empty rooms and tiny venues until finally working up to bigger clubs and eventually stadiums – can be. Who knows if The Beatles would have become the global phenomena they were if they hadn’t played for hours on end in Hamburg prior to recording?

Young the Giant may not be The Beatles, but they’ve certainly put in the time and effort that it takes to make it big. After playing at Great Scott and the Paradise Rock Club in recent years, the band has honed their act and begun to experience real success. This was evident their solid, clean performance at the House of Blues on Thursday.

The band took the stage around 9:15 and proceeded to play a longer-than-usual 16-song set that consisted of their debut album, some old favorites, two covers and two new songs. Lead singer Sameer Gadhia seemed to shake with energy, unable to stay still for very long, and often put the excess into banging a tambourine or keeping the beat with a shaker or claps despite the two percussionists the group already had on stage. But while his occasional dance moves could use some work, Gadhia’s clear and full vocals soared impressively over the rest of the instrumentation.

Young the Giant provided a taste of the levels that real “rock ‘n’ roll” can have, from the louder tracks like “My Body” to the subtler “Cough Syrup” and “Apartment” to the weather-matching summery vibe of “Shake My Hand”, a hit under the band’s prior name, The Jakes.

The night was a simple and straight-forward presentation of well-played music. Even the covers, which included the Gorillaz’s “Empire Ants” from Young the Giant’s “MTV Unplugged” showcase (fitting, considering it was the mtvU Woodies Tour) complete with a string quartet to R. Kelly’s “Remix of Ignition” which Gadhia prefaced by saying “We don’t usually do this.” Regardless, the crowd loved every minute of it.

Overall, Young the Giant has come a long way, but with just one album under their belts, they still have a long way to go to become a real force in the music industry. But if their latest performance in Boston was any indication, they’re certainly on the right track.

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