Concert Review: Gang Of Youths, May 6, Danforth Music Hall

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Gang of Youths brought their engaging, energetic and joy-inducing show in support of their third full length album, Angel in Realtime, to the Danforth Music Hall’s stage.

The six piece Australian band – playing in Canada for the first time in four years – kicked things off with “The Angel of 8th Ave” as frontman and songwriter David Le’aupeue frenetically danced around the stage; smiling, singing and interacting with the audience and the other members of the band.

For an album rooted in heavier matter – David discovering and exploring his fathers full heritage following his passing – the energy of the show was nothing but positive vibes. Over half of the setlist featured songs from the new album, including a beautiful 7 minute version of “Brothers” which found David playing solo on the keyboard with a single stage light shining down on him. Save for a few moments of fans screaming their support, the audience quietly listened as he gave a powerful performance singing about his father who pretended to be only half Samoan to provide his kids a better life. At the end of the first verse, the line goes “our father’s love was unmistakable and he gave us everything he had, and I guess that meant pretending he was half white, to give his kids a better chance.” Ironically, the choice to do so led to David now working to claim his own indigenous identity, with a more full understanding of his heritage.

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Gang of Youths also made sure to play some of the older hits fans had been dying to hear again live, like “Heart is a Muscle” early on and “Let Me Down Easy” which David stated was about “dancing, drinking and being good to one another.” The crowd was clearly loving the performance – but there was an amazing moment late in the set when David made his way off the stage and walked through the audience before being crowd surfed back to the stage. This was one of those concert moments that can be so impactful for fans and has been missing these past few years with social distancing bringing more caution to live shows; so on a night when the lead was singing about being good to one another, it was meaningful to see him in amongst the people he was telling to do so.

As the band wrapped up their last song before eventually coming back out for an incredibly punchy, dancy pair of encore songs, the fans asked for them to keep playing not by chanting for an encore, but by going back to singing the ‘doot doots’ of “Let Me Down Easy”, sticking with it for a couple minutes until the band re-emerged. For a group that traveled halfway around the world to be here, Toronto made sure to show them how happy we all were that they had made the trip and we will be eagerly awaiting their return!
– Kyle Cadogan

Posted on by guestwriter in Concerts