Photos and review by Jen Hues
As a rare blue supermoon rose over the horizon on August 30th, fans poured into Red Rocks Amphitheatre to see Young The Giant’s first tour in four years, in support of the band’s latest album, 2022’s American Bollywood.
The album’s title track opened the show with lead singer Sameer Gadhia’s smooth vocals over the mellow music to set the mood for the night. The set was divided into four acts, in keeping with the flow of the album. The first act, titled Origins, also featured “Wake Up,” “Something To Believe In,” and the now iconic “Cough Syrup.” It was surprising to hear that last one so early in the set, but then again, Young The Giant has an extensive catalog, and by no means did anyone want to leave after the song.
Act II, entitled Exile, included “My Way,” “I Got,” and American Bollywood’s lead single “The Walk Home.” Gadhia, a natural showman, was energetic and animated throughout the night, giving off a cool swagger that was emphasized by his slick fashion choices, which changed with every act. Before the song “I Bite,” Gadhia found his dad in the audience, who was all smiles as his son dedicated the song to him.
During Act III, Battle, the wind picked up throughout Red Rocks as the supermoon rose higher, creating a magical atmosphere. Battle began with the new song “Dollar $tore,” which was an incredible, heavy-hitting song that stood out from the rest. Gadhia, now wearing a tank top and sweating profusely, was on fire during the performance, and I’m fairly certain I saw some people headbanging, which was unexpected but welcome at a Young The Giant show. “Cult of Personality, “Heat of the Summer,” “Dancing in the Rain,” and “Mind Over Matter” came next before things slowed down a bit.
Gadhia prefaced the song “Firelight”: “After the last time we played Red Rocks, we didn’t tour for a long time. Four years. A lot of things happened, too much to say. We lost our voices and gained them again. But the things that drove us to the edge will move us forward. There is a force, a light inside us that guides us to do amazing, beautiful things. This song is about those lights, those beautiful flames. “
The final act, Denouement, featured “Superposition,” “Tightrope,” “Silvertongue,” (Gadhia’s swagger was at an all time high on that one), and closed with “My Body,” during which the crowd understandably lost their minds dancing and singing along. Even after such a lengthy set, it was tough to say goodbye to the band, as they left fans wanting more.