Gang Of Youth, Gretta Ray @ Entertainment Centre, Adelaide 3/8/2022

On reflection it isn’t hard to believe that Gang Of Youths would become one of the biggest bands in the country. Even back in 2015 seeing them play at the Exeter Beer Garden they had something that a lot of bands don’t, big songs, powerful stories and classy musicianship. This tour was mostly focused on their third studio album Angels In Realtime and they really did take things to another level with this massive production. No doubt it would seem as if they have been able to realise their ambition playing to big crowds in stadiums sparing no expense with the confetti cannon showering the crowd during the man himself, big video screens, a lighting display to rival most, a giant disco ball and a catwalk allowing front man Dave Le’aupepe to get up close to their Adelaide fans.

the angel of 8th ave. set the tone as did What Can I Do If The Fire Goes Out? Le’aupepe asked how Adelaide was going, even the fans in the Hilltop Hood Nosebleed Section introducing the band as ‘five gangly pricks’ who have been working hard on their sound and commenting that it had been years since they were last year in our fair city. One thing is for sure that Le’aupepe has more front than David Jones and his larger than life and honest comments with some colourful language is refreshing. He definitely connected with the crowd on a different level and the show served as a perfect to his late father.

Let Me Down Easy proved popular but it is their new powerful and emotive songs such as tend the garden, unison, spirit boy and the kingdom is within you is where they weave their magic. The sound mix wasn’t great early but did improve as the show moved a long. The crowd went nuts for the ever so popular The Heart Is A Muscle. Le’aupepe spoke of brothers as being about siblings and a weird one to play using humour as a mask as he believed they don’t fit in, in a main stream world. Our Time Is Short was great and forbearance drew of the challenges of being a teenager with Le’aupepe saying nothing had changed. How good was Magnolia? Hot damn! That was one way to get the crowd up and about if they weren’t already.

There was a bit of a nod and a wink to a Triple J Like A Version contribution this week and even spoke of these bands such as Nothing But Thieves who cover Gang Of Youths songs to which Le’aupepe thought was better than how they play them. Gretta Ray is an incredible talent and not only supporting the band on this tour she was fantastic on back vocals. She took the lead on The Deepest Sighs, The Frankest Shadows. Stellar! Her opening set shined with so many great songs from her debut album Begin To Look Around.

Le’aupepe said that Adelaide will never be past its prime adding quite a few Wayne Carey references in there which led in to set closer in the wake of your leave which the crowd continued to sing well in to the encore break. It was majestic! Starting to play hand of god it was great to see Le-aupepe soak up the adulation from the crowd then asking the band to come back as he didn’t want them lost in the applause. goal of the century brought this grand show to an end and we’ll watch on with keen interest to see what is next for Gang Of Youths.

Live Review By Rob Lyon

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