By Chantal Dunn
Photo By: Kyle Ladda
On March 1, 2019, Young the Giant came to town on their Mirror Master tour. This was the first time in five years that the American rock band has played a show in Edmonton. Since then they have come out with two new albums: Mind Over Matter and Home of the Strange.
The concert took place at the Jubilee Auditorium and the band used the stage very wisely. In the beginning, lights overlooked the stage and were set up along the bottom of risers. The drummer and bassist were set up on the risers on stage. Behind the band was a plain black backdrop. The concert began steady with some newer hits. The audience was taken by surprise in the third song when the black backdrop was pulled away revealing tons of lights. In the middle of all the lights there was a huge mirror. It was a square shape that reflected light and seemed to move throughout the songs. There were lots of examples of musical and visual artistry put into the show throughout the night. There were sets of strobe lights set up around the stage that would only turn on at certain points, synched to the beat of the music.
Percussion was used in unique ways, compared to what you’d expect from a rock band. There were lots of egg shakers and a tambourine. A mallet typically used on a xylophone was used to hit the guitar, making a really cool resonating sound. The mallet was especially used during something the band calls “Out in the Open”. Out in the Open is a web series done by Young the Giant, where they go outside and do an acoustic version of their songs. At the Jubilee they demonstrated this with an acoustic rendition of Titus is Born, a song off of their Home of the Strange album. It was a “set within a set,” said the lead singer Sameer Gadhia.
Shortly after this intimate set, Gadhia introduced the next song by asking fans to raise their phones or lighters when the drums hit. He explained that there are sometimes thoughts or quirks people have that they are told to hold back, “but those thoughts are what makes us human”. Holding up a light when the drums hit would represent sharing “a part of yourself you should share more often.” Young the Giant used their music to encourage the crowd to let go of thoughts holding us back in order to express yourself.
The rest of the concert seemed to wrap up pretty quick despite trying to catch the Edmonton fan base up on five years of music, since Young the Giant’s last show in town. The band also played their older, most popular songs, like “Cough Syrup”. An hour into the show they walked off stage and the crowd called for an encore. They then returned to the stage with a four song encore. The show ended with their old hit single, “My Body.”