Live Review: Gang of Youths – Enmore Theatre, Sydney (09.04.16)

As the smell of weed makes its way around the Enmore Theatre, the lights go down and Gang of Youths slowly take the stage to the Rocky theme. Young girls jump up and down in trepidation, their enthusiasm a sign of what’s to come in tonight’s show.

Opening with “Restraint and Release”, the crowd sing “So don’t shut me out again” along with lead singer Dave Le’aupepe. The rest of the band are loud and complement each other, but Le’aupepe’s microphone could have been amplified more, to make that beautiful voice of his louder and clearer, especially when he spoke between songs.

While most in the crowd are focused on the show, others like to discuss how much drunker they are than all their friends, as they bump into people. Luckily, the word for word singalong to “Poison Drum” drowns out those who think their conversations are interesting to everyone surrounding them.

The band take it down from the high they’ve created, and Le’aupepe moves to a keyboard to play “Kansas” with the rest of the band. He stays at the keyboard to perform the hauntingly sad “Knuckles White Dry” solo, the lyrics, “You haven’t cried much or nearly enough,” surely causing some tears.

Gang of Youths

The rest of the band return to the stage and start a slow clap during the long intro to “Sjamboksa”. The mood is lifted, and as the song builds up and reaches its peak they disappear behind a wall of smoke and flashing lights on the stage.

There’s nothing quite like watching a band grateful for where they are, who love playing together. All members move around the stage throughout the night, and jam together. Le’aupepe thanks everyone for coming out and mentions they couldn’t even sell out Goodgod Small Club (RIP) a short time ago, clearly moved and ‘tearing up right now’.

He leaves the stage to weave his way through the crowd, followed by a sea of iPhones while singing the huge hit “Magnolia” along with what sounds like every single person in the theatre. Not ready for them to leave yet, the crowd start a chant for one more song and they oblige – delivering three when they were only meant to give us one.

Gang of Youths

“Radioface” and “Vital Signs” round out the encore and Le’aupepe gives the crowd another treat by surfing over raised arms and adoring faces. His expression as he’s carried around really says it all, he loves what he does, loves being able to do it at The Enmore, and loves being on stage with the rest of the band. He returns to stage and all of them band together to take a huge bow, while screams and cheers fill the theatre.

The huge choruses, Michael Hutchence and Beyoncé-inspired dance moves, all members of Gang of Youths’ skills and obvious love for performing made this a special gig for all.


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