By Sarah Klassen
August 11th 2023

“Maybe we lost our voices for a bit, but we’ve found them again.” said lead singer Sameer Gadhia during his heartfelt speech on Friday the 11th. Young the Giant returned to Redmond, Washington 4 years after their last tour for a lively dance-filled summer night. Transporting the stage at Marymoor Amphitheatre to the world of their latest album “American Bollywood”, they set the scene for their show in 4 acts with an impressive and beautifully curated set. Joined by Berlin indie-rock duo Milky Chance and with support from Armenian singer-songwriter Rosa Linn, the bands put on an amazing show that had everyone up and moving, from the barricade, to the back of the lawn.

To start the night, Rosa Linn showed off her stadium-worthy stage presence, singing hits from her recent release and even a Stevie Nicks cover. Next, Milky Chance performed an extensive set from their discography. Enclosed in their dynamic lighting structure, their synchronized visuals complemented the bass and drums while drawing the audience close. The band brought their best “Berlin dance vibes” as they put it, and fans were excited to hear favorites like “Stolen Dance” and “Colorado”. They finished their set with an energetic harmonica solo and a bow, before the stage quickly began to transform for Young the Giant.

Symbols from American Bollywood’s 4 acts adorned the stage beneath the marigold studded chandelier, with scalloped archways and round platforms that gave the stage a distinctly architectural feel. Next, incense was lit around each platform, further emphasizing the sincerity of the production. As a final touch, the curtain pulled back to reveal a video intro which immersed the audience fully into this world.

Act Ⅰ: Origins had everyone in awe, as the scene came to life. The cinematic opening led into the first two songs off of the new album, which set the pace for the rest of the evening. The act finished with their 2010 hit “Cough Syrup” which had everyone joining in a nostalgic sing-along. This moment really showcased the beauty of this 4 act format, which allows the band to select songs from their entire discography, but fit them into the story of American Bollywood. The album takes us on the journey of the immigrant in America, and explores themes that Young the Giant has always explored in their music like identity and belonging. Here, we get to see how these pieces spanning their entire career fit together to tell the same story. In this way, the songs are given new life and energized with fresh perspective.

Act II: Exile had some serious rockstar energy. Gadhia’s confident attitude shone through in this section which started off strong with “The Walk Home” and finished with “Nothing’s Over”. Act III: Battle truly featured the band as a whole, as the group traversed the platformed stage. This portion was just as dynamic and lively as the one before, but really activated their connection to one another and had some fun solos and features. Lastly, Act IV: Denouement launched an epic dance party that carried on right until the end of the show. In a 4 song encore (which somehow felt just right), the night ended with their hit “My Body” from their self titled album.

It was obvious that every detail of this show was given great consideration. The wardrobe, stage design, and thoughtfully curated setlist all came together to make the night truly special. Long time fans and first time listeners trailed out of the venue Friday night chatting excitedly about how impressive it all was, and anyone who has had the chance to see the tour thus far should consider themselves lucky. Now nearly finished with the North American leg of their tour, the band is set to continue to Europe in October where they’re sure to impress many more.