Photos by Eliana Rowe
Hammerstein Ballroom was filled wall to wall with zealous fans for Young the Giant’s second sold-out New York City date. Australian singer-songwriter Vance Joy opened the show and serenaded the packed ballroom with folk-pop love songs. Though Vance Joy has only released one EP (God Loves You When You’re Dancing) to date, he has garnered a global following, which was obvious in the crowd’s exclamations of admiration during the set. Vance Joy wooed the audience with melancholy ballads of loves lost and playful poetic odes to modern romance, his haunting voice making the 3.5k capacity venue feel intimate. With his ukelele in hand, Vance Joy ended with the internationally charted single “Riptide” with support from the crowd who sang along.
When Young the Giant walked on stage, a deafening roar filled the room and underscored the high energy mood of the night. After the release of their eponymous debut album in 2011, the SoCal indie-rockers became an instant breakout success. The band kept fans waiting for 2 years while writing and recording, and released their highly anticipated sophomore album Mind Over Matter in January. Since then, Young the Giant has been selling out shows on a national headline tour, including two nights in the city. The band is known for their exhilarating live performance, and this show proved the hype to be true. The band executed their anthems with confidence and vigor, as if this was the first night of their tour. Lead singer Sameer Gadhia brought his all to Hammerstein, dancing around the stage while seamlessly leaping between his natural register to falsetto. Before the night ended, Gadhia thanked the crowd for their continued support and recalled the days of playing shows at Pianos.