Young The Giant @ Festival Pier


Last fall, Young The Giant embarked on their “Home of the Strange” Tour. I attended their show at The Fillmore last September and it was one of the most incredible live performances I’ve ever seen. Exactly 364 days later, I ventured to Festival Pier to relive it all over again.

This time around, Young The Giant was accompanied by Joywave and Cold War Kids. Joywave warmed up the audience with tracks from their newly released album Content. Joywave crushed it with their performances of “It’s A Trip!” and “Tongues.” Following Joywave was Cold War Kids. Cold War Kids also released an album earlier this year. Highlights of their set include head-banging performances of “Love Is Mystical,” “So Tied Up,” and of course “First.”

Cold War Kids:

Young The Giant began their set with an audio montage of song clips featuring the word “America” which drifted into their opening performance of one of my personal favorites, “Amerika”. They then kicked it into high gear with an aggressive performance of “Something To Believe In”. It’s very important to mention that the band’s front man, Sameer Gadhia, sported a sky blue jumpsuit for their starlit performance. Gadhia’s vocals are remarkable live; he simply sighs into the mic and the audience goes wild (and he really knows what’s he’s doing with a tambourine.) Between each song, the band played sleepy interludes reminiscent of a dream sequence. There was a perfect balance between their gentle songs like “Titus Was Born” and their rock-infused anthems like “It’s About Time.” They also played a perfect blend of old and new songs, including quite a few from their very first album. There was something so nostalgic and blissful about their performances of their older tracks like “Apartment” and a jazzed-up version of “I Got.” The audience received them like old friends. They prefaced their performance of “Cough Syrup” with a gracious thank-you to the audience, thanking the fans for travelling along this 10-year journey with them.

Young The Giant:

The members of the band then gathered at the front of the stage to perform two songs “In The Open” style. In The Open is a video series of Young The Giant performing acoustic versions of their songs in various outdoor, open spaces. Gadhia noted they believe that songs should be able to stand alone, without all of the elaborate production behind them. Young The Giant then performed “Strings” and “Firelight” in this style. The “In The Open” style performance enhanced the intricate guitar licks and made “Strings” sound even jazzier. Of all the songs Young The Giant played, “Firelight” especially took my breath away. They didn’t play this song last year, so it caught me by surprise. Gadhia prefaced the song by describing its meaning as the presence of things in our lives we inexplicably yearn for. It was gorgeous from start of finish. “Firelight” has been drifting around inside my head ever since and I hope it never leaves.

Then things took a turn for the dramatic with “Nothing’s Over”. They finished with an appropriate bang with their performance of “Home of the Strange.” But not for long, as they returned to the stage for an encore. Gadhia then added a gold sequin jacket to his ensemble and dropped to the floor as he belted along to “Silvertongue.” They closed the show on an electrifying energy high with their anthem, “My Body.” I didn’t believe it was humanly possible, but Young The Giant has outdone themselves once again.

Set List:

  1. Amerika
  2. Something To Believe In
  3. I Got
  4. Anagram
  5. Titus Was Born
  6. Mr. Know It All
  7. It’s About Time
  8. Cough Syrup
  9. Strings
  10. Firelight
  11. Nothing’s Over
  12. Mind Over Matter
  13. Repeat
  14. Apartment
  15. Home Of The Strange


  1. Jungle youth
  2. Silvertongue
  3. My Body