On the 13th of November, two of my best friends and I got to go full circle, and get in the mosh pit for Gang of Youths, a band we saw for the first time live back in February at Let Go Fest.
If you’re unfamiliar with Gang of Youths, they’re an indie-rock group from Sydney, Australia, and our concert was the last of a stretch of 8 shows they did in Melbourne. Considering they initially had two shows scheduled and set for tickets to be sold, the increase in shows during the couple of hours tickets were on sale is a clear indication of this bands reach.
It was an incredible show. The night started off very well, we managed to find a pub a block down from the Forum Theatre where the concert was being held, and grabbed some hot chips and a few drinks, before joining the crowds of people making their way inside the theatre.
It was packed inside, and crowds continued building by the minute, but by 9:50, we were all ready to kick off.
As soon as the band (David, Max, Jung, Joji and Donnie) walked out, it was like everyone was jolted with this huge electrical energy. One thing I noticed was, besides from having a girl break her beer cup and having the back of my feet and ankles splashed with beer, it was a really respectful, chilled out crowd. There was no-one shoving or pushing their way through, there wasn’t anyone screaming or talking loudly when it wasn’t necessary, everyone was just there to have a good time.
We didn’t even catch the two supporting acts, and we were still able to make our way quite easily to the front right of the stage, about six metres from the front.
The beginning of the concert was electrifying. I’ve always said this whenever describing their music, but for me, listening to Gang of Youths is like going to church and being baptised. Or what I think that feels like. You feel so refreshed and spiritually awake, it’s an incredible experience, and seeing them live only amplified that feeling.
Their entire set was incredible. It was just song after song of chest-pounding anthem-ic songs that hit you right in the gut in the best possible way.
For a large majority of the show I was completely spaced out, just watching them on stage. It was hypnotising to watch David move up and down the length of the stage, with or without his guitar and Donnie, the drummer, was a huge stand-out for me. By the end of the show his button up shirt had completely come undone and he was a huge mass of energy and limbs up on his throne at the back of the stage. Time and time again I just felt my eyes being drawn to him and how much passion he put into each song.
But like I mentioned before, David was absolutely hypnotising to watch. The way he danced and moved wasn’t like anything I have ever seen before, and there were plenty of songs where I didn’t move or sing a word because I spent the entirety of them just staring at the band on the stage. They entire band, especially David, had total control of the audience.
At one point David even got down into the crowd, as he had done at Let Go Fest, and ya girl just happened to have her camera ready when he did.
When they started performing Let Me Down Easy, the volume in the theatre just increased tenfold. I nearly lost my voice, considering I was already sick, but everyone’s energies just combined beautifully and it was genuinely like an out of body experience. On the train ride back, all of us mentioned that the entire concert was like one big dream, and listening to Let Me Down Easy live was a huge highlight for me.
Another song I really loved was one of their most popular tunes, The Heart Is A Muscle, another song that made the crowd go crazy. It was when they performed this song at Let Go Fest that Kate, Jess and I all realised we all loved the band and the others just didn’t know. It was a great experience realising we were all singing along and yelling the lyrics, equally as passionately.
It made for an even better show that the guys in front of us were just as enthusiastic about all the songs as we were, if not more.
The Heart Is A Muscle basically ensured I lost my voice completely, but I’m not complaining.
One of my favourite songs from Gang of Youths is Magnolia. I honestly think it highlights how eclectic and unique their instrumentation and song-writing is. There’s so many layers to the song, and the story behind it is so incredibly sad, yet the song is this huge anthem that the crowd just went wild too.
A huge problem I’ve come across, especially in the last two years, is that every concert I go to, ends up being so spectacular that I think it belongs in my top five concerts ever, when the fact is they’re all so different, you can’t possibly compare them. It was something that was brought up at the end of the concert as we joined the hordes of people leaving the Forum. The Gang Of Youths concert was incomparable, as are many concerts. It was honest to god like baptism through fire in the best way. If you ever get to see Gang of Youths live, ever, be prepared for the spiritual awakening.