Show Review: Young the Giant at TCU Amphitheater at White River State Park on 06/25/23
Photos and Review by Camber Sollberger
Young the Giant came back to Indianapolis for the first time in over four years on Sunday, June 25, 2023 in downtown Indianapolis. The TCU Amphitheater at White River State Park is a newer venue allowing bands to come to the center of Indy on warm summer nights. The vibes are always good with great food, drink, and community engagement. There are tents encouraging community involvement and voter registration and the lawn is always packed full of excited fans. This time was no different as Young the Giant, with support from Milky Chance and TALK, took the stage.
They started their set as the sun lowered behind them and the stage lights could give their full effect. The stage was full of fun additions like large transparent pieces of glass that lit up along with the beat of the song. Yellow, fringed garland strung up over them led to what looked like a chandelier of that same fringed material. Each band member embraced a similar, breezy, summer aesthetic while showing individual personalities, complementing each other and the stage nicely. The breeze was cool and refreshing on the hot summer day, and you could see the wind blowing through the bassist’s flowing hair. The crowd matched the band’s vibes, full of cute outfits, creative make up, and band merch. Hearing Young the Giant play “Heat of the Summer” on a toasty June summer night made for a memorable evening.
Young the Giant started with the title song from their new album, American Bollywood - a favorite of mine. The set was broken into multiple sections with videos in between. The short videos gave the band a chance to catch their breath after putting their all into each song while keeping the crowd engaged. The videos were extremely well made and gave more life to the songs from their recent album. They showed human experience and emotion, and one could tell the frontman of Young the Giant, Sameer Gadhia, pulled a lot of influence from his family and background in both the videos and American Bollywood. He is the son of immigrants and from a family of musicians, and the generational knowledge and expertise shows in his work. He is an extremely talented musician and it was amazing seeing him take control of the stage.
The setlist was full of fan favorites from older albums and a good tasting of the new album. Though, as a big fan of American Bollywood, I wish I got to hear a couple more songs from it. However, I loved the set all the same. You get to experience the full, wide vocal range of Sameer Gadhia in songs like “My Way” and “Mind Over Matter.” The lighting was tremendously well done, always complementing the songs extremely well. I appreciated what felt like a celebration of Pride with the rainbow of colors during “Dancing in the Rain.” The encore started off with a song picked just just for Indianapolis: “Firelight," which is a song not on their typical line up. I had personally not heard it before but the beautiful plucking melody on the guitar made me want to listen again when I got home. The encore then included four of their most well-known songs. The disco ball hidden in the fringe chandelier dropped down during the first of their four encore songs, starting with “Superposition.” The lights shining off the disco ball pumped up the crowd, getting everyone dancing for the closing of the set. An intense, harsh red bled into the crowd, setting the perfect stage for their closing song “My Body.” The lighting and stage were a perfect foundation for the band to give the audience a great show.
It was an all-around, amazing performance from Young the Giant, and I can’t wait till they come back again. Let’s just hope it doesn’t take another four years this time.
Watch "American Bollywood" here: