Gang of Youths deliver a live show full of energy, supporting Sam Fender
Bursting onto the stage full of energy, Gang of Youths were filled with charisma and passion as they supported Sam Fender at the First Direct Arena. Highlighted by the colourful and exuberant flair of the frontman David Le’aupepe, Gang of Youths rocked the audience with a mix of their old tunes and some fresher songs from their new album (to be released in February 2022). Joining Fender on his penultimate sold-out show, Gang of Youths are lining up well for their headline tour in 2022.
The 5-piece indie rock band started their atmospheric set with The Man Himself, the first single coming from their new album. A song that focusses on themes of grief and growth. Through their use of instrumentation, the group created a hugely textural and atmospheric sound that left the crowd mesmerised and wanting more. Although the live performance of this track is a little more stripped back then the recorded version, it did not fail to touch the heart strings of everybody watching.
Continuing the set with songs such as The Angel of 8th Ave. and The Heart Is a Muscle, Gang of Youths filled the hall with flavoursome soundscapes and subtle hints of indigenous influences. Although the layered soundscapes can become a bit similar after a while, Gang of Youths fight this well with the use of intricate lyrical strands and a passionate delivery from all participants.
With Le’aupepe taking centre stage with his exuberant style, it would have been quite easy for the rest of the group to fade into the background. However, it can’t be denied that they all brought their own individuality and excitement to the set. The rest of Gang of Youths, made up of Jung Kim, Max Dunn, Donnie Borzestowski and Tom Hobden, put their hearts and souls into the performance. All adding to the amazing atmosphere of the lively show.
Along with their intense and energy-ridden songs came the intimacy of songs such as Tend the Garden and Magnolia. Keeping with their musical identity, these songs are filled with sensitivity and pain whilst still creating a more positive sonic scape. In these quitter points of the set, Le’aupepe’s vocal qualities were evermore present. Even though it was clear that the energy of the other tunes had left him breathless, he was still able to use intricate and timid vocal tones to put across the delicacy of the songs. With a sound close to the of Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty, Le’aupepe made sure the audience felt every emotion he was putting across. Gang of Youths finished their set with the song What Can I Do If the Fire Goes Out and were met with a great audience reaction.
After the headline set of Sam Fender, who smashed the set as always, Le’aupepe was asked to come back on stage to sing with Fender on his cover of I’m On Fire by Bruce Springsteen. The addition of this encore worked well and fit both artist’s styles. It was nice to see both artists working together as an end to the show.