Gang Of Youths @ Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide 17/11/2018

Everyone loves a winner and the Gang Of Youths are exactly that as they continue their stratospheric rise that does not look like stopping any time soon selling out shows here and overseas as well as selling truckloads of copies of their albums. Some are saying that the Gang Of Youths are Australia’s biggest success story in years which for me is spot on and no doubt they have come a long way from when I saw them first play in Adelaide in the beer garden at The Exeter not that long ago. Even back then it was evident that there was something special about this band who would be destined for great things so for me, like many others, it has been great to be able to share this global conquering ride that the Gang Of Youths are on right now. Selling out two shows at the iconic Thebarton Theatre is no mean feat either and there was a really exciting buzz and an air of expectation leading up to the Gang Of Youths coming on stage.

The reception the band received when they hit the stage was more akin to a heroes homecoming right from the opening notes of Fear And Trembling. The band really couldn’t put a foot wrong with that excitement continuing with What Can I Do If The Fire Goes Out? It was that loud and there was that much talking it was difficult to hear what front man David Le’aupepe was saying but there was the sentiment that it had been a long time and they were happy to be back. One thing I did struggle with was how inattentive the crowd was for the majority of the show. I’m not sure why anyone would part with their hard earned to talk through the whole show and surprisingly when Le’aupepe was talking, being quite insightful and bearing his soul all you could hear was audience chat. It makes no sense to me!

The majority of the set focused on their album Go Farther In Lightness and songs in the ilk of Keep Me In The Open, Do Not Let Your Spirit Wane and Persevere are top shelf. People will ask what is about this band that draws you in? For me, the lyrical content and his stories of personal struggles and tough times really does resonate and watching the audience you can see how the audience connects with their music. Le’aupepe going it solo on piano with Go Farther In Lightness and the Bruce Springsteen cover I’m On Fire was a major highlight. He spoke of his father quite fondly and that one of his last shows he went to watch his son play was here in Adelaide and asked the crowd to have a glass of rose´ for him as he is sober now.

The crowd, not that they needed any more encouragement, did go nuts for The Heart Is A Muscle, Let Me Down Easy and Magnolia. Also, it was mentioned that $1 from every ticket would support the Aboriginal Legal Service influencing positive change and increasing access to justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People. The good times came to an end after an encore featuring Vital Signs and the positive uplifter Say Yes To Life. It will be interesting to see where to next for the Gang Of Youths as they continue their stratospheric rise.

Live Review by Rob Lyon

Set List:
Fear And Trembling
What Can I Do If The Fire Goes Out?
Keep Me In The Open
Do Not Let Your Spirit Wane
Go Farther In Lightness
I’m On Fire
The Heart Is A Muscle
Let Me Down Easy
The Deepest Sighs, The Frankest Shadows

Vital Signs
Say Yes To Life

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