Known as one of the biggest rock acts in Australia, Gang of Youths now have their eyes set on the western pastures of North America.
Drawing an impressive crowd at Toronto’s Phoenix Concert Theatre, lead singer Dave Le’aupepe stepped on stage as he strummed out a loving rendition of The Tragically Hip’s Ahead By A Century.
One by one, each member of Gang of Youths slowly made way to their respective instruments, soaking in all the energy and broadcasting it right back to the audience. Without hesitation, the Sydney quintet launched into What Can I Do If The Fire Goes Out, fleshing it out with amplified guitar virtuosity as harmonious crowd sing-a-longs grew louder and louder. The resulting effect was a blissful, almighty noise.
Elsewhere, the segue into the nearly eight-minute ballad Do Not Let Your Spirit Wane proved completely enthralling. With everyone in the band giving it their all – fantastic musicianship, pleanstly loud emotions, and with a stage presence larger than life – Gang of Youths controlled the audience with the same power as a band similar to U2 (in their nascent years).
Unquestionably, they are a group that wear their hearts on their sleeves. However, much of the credit goes to Dave Le’aupepe whose stage persona remains electric in person. From jumping around like a possessed poet to paying tribute to his late father with the song The Heart Is a Muscle – it was all very much akin to a fantastic rollercoaster ride.
With music that is ambitious and anthemically chest-pounding, Le’aupepe imparted a message to the crowd that could have perfectly doubled as Gang of Youth’s mission statement: “Don’t be cool, be courageous.”