Concert Reviews

Young the Giant Brought Home of the Strange Tour to Denver

Last night, Ra Ra Riot and headliner Young the Giant rocked the Ogden Theatre for the first of their two concerts on the Home of the Strange Tour's stop in Denver.

Indie-rock band Ra Ra Riot warmed up the crowd, mostly with tracks off new album Need Your Light, before Young the Giant's edgy guitar riffs and primal energy took over.

While the California band got the crowd absolutely wild early on with its latest single, "Something to Believe In," Young the Giant quickly settled into older hits like "I Got" and "Cough Syrup." The latest album, Home of the Strange, featured heavily in the latter half of the concert, as the band blasted tracks like the reflective "Amerika" and the flirtatious "Silvertongue." But when "My Body," the full-throttle hit off Young the Giant's 2010 debut album, began its drumline intro, the whole floor and balcony bounced.

Lead singer Sameer Gadhia sent the crowd into frenzies with his lyrics, expansive vocal range and seductive stage presence. With this stop in Denver as the penultimate performance of the eight-week tour, both frontmen of Ra Ra Riot and Young the Giant mentioned how grateful they were for the ride, especially the support of fans who sold out venue after venue. Colorado holds a special place for Young the Giant: "Titus Was Born," a mesmerizing track off Home of the Strange, was written in Denver.

Young the Giant structures its albums around a cohesive narrative, telling stories of departure and returning home. In concert, the band takes songs like "Firelight" and builds upon those foundations, syncing the music to lighting that blends and builds with the music. A backdrop of constellations grounded a stage that was dark, save for the solitary light around Sameer Gadhia. He crooned the audience into an eerie tension until, as the song swelled, the stage exploded into blinding color, bursting yellow and blue lights throughout the concert hall. The crowd couldn't get enough.