Gang of Youths are masters at stirring up a multitude of emotions and Saturday night was no different.
Sauntering into Capitol from the rain outside, Fait’s wall of sound welcomed me into the venue like an old lover overcome by residual feelings. The euphoric sounds swelled amongst the sparse crowd as Elise Higgens’ unique skill for layering light and shade laced itself among our emotional complexes. An astral light cast itself across the stage stemming from the reflection of Higgens’ tuning pegs whilst Slow Glow echoed over the gradually growing group of eager ears.
Bouncing on stage with their synth-pop tunes, Grrl Pal had more than a little something to offer gig goers. September has proved to be a big month for their lush tunes, heading over to Brisbane for Big Sound and stepping out on the scene with very impressive new track Kwler than U. Fronting the stage, Jay LeKat’s dreamy voice served as an offering for the crowd’s growing anticipation as the trio’s disjointed beats and crystalline sounds translated into dorky dancing and an enthusiastic portion of punters. With some of the crowd unfamiliar with many of Grrl Pal’s more recent tunes, mostly due to their policy of dropping one new track a month, their cover of Wildfire by SBTRKT was a welcome addition to the set as the resounding echo of lyrics ‘like a wildfire’ tucked amongst Danny K’s take on the recognisable hollow beats set the bar for headline act Gang of Youths
Taking no prisoners on their return gig after selling out last May, Gang of Youths were a powerhouse of energy on stage. Wielding a giant aura of sass in his luscious hair, frontman Dave Leaupepe thrashed his guitar like no tomorrow and in true rock star style he didn’t pass up the chance to throw in some gyrating hips. Serving up several hits from their debut album The Positions, the atmosphere kept amping up the longer the set went on. Stirring a rebellion inside our hearts, seductive track Magnolia was the soundtrack for the night as Leaupepe’s embodiment of attitude and intense hair-flicking made for a photographer’s dream. Jumping into the strong crowd mid-set, Leaupepe forced those who weren’t interacting to direct their attention to the equally impressive musicians dotted over the stage at their various stations. I suppose in the true fashion that comes with being pressed up against a gaggle of bodies I began to judge the book by its cover after Avenoir’s interview with the band a month back.
“Joji would be a stellar English Premier League player scout or manager due to his savant-ish grasp of the game and superior football knowledge. I have a feeling Jung would be interested in owning bars and restaurants because of his interest in food and wine and Max is studying to be a lawyer on the side.”
And I you know what? I saw what Dave meant.
Departing the Capitol stage to cheers for an encore, Dave Leaupepe took to the stage again solo to cover Joy Division’s iconic track Love Will Tear Us Apart. Perhaps it was just me but I swear every gal’s heart broke in the space of three minutes that night. Offering a final piece of commentary before calling the rest of Gang of Youths for Vital Signs, the entourage erupted with laughter at Leaupepe’s advice.
“Don’t buy drugs, become a pop star and they give you them for free!”