say yes to life!
Gang Of Youths @ Enmore Theatre, Sydney NSW Australia 22/11/2018 written by Brendan Lewis, photos by Jess Gleeson.
“...this is not about religion, it’s about the power of music and how it brings people together and helps us forget the darkness in our day-to-day lives.” That’s what Skillet showed us all last week, however, there are times when you are faced with the question, what can I do if the fire goes out? Tonight, we find out if Sydney indie rockers Gang Of Youths can use their music to help everyone here overcome, the deepest sighs, the frankest shadows and the fear and trembling that life taunts us with at times, say yes to life, and go farther in lightness?
After all, the heart is a muscle that needs training at times, and I have a feeling ours are going to be put to work tonight…
Seeing as it’s now the first of six sold out shows here in Sydney, due to the band having to postpone last night’s show as lead singer Dave developed a chest infection, I feel a strong vibe of buzzing excitement, curiosity and nerves. I for one am all three of the above, excited to see these Sydney indie masters at an intimate venue for the first time in quite a while, plus curious and nervous as to how Dave will perform, I mean, it’s a pretty tall order seeing as though his vocal dynamics aren’t exactly lazy and effortless!
Our curiosity and nerves are eliminated once Dave’s warm, rich baritone vocals, seemingly on-par with the recording, seduce our palates . The surprisingly decadent vocals sit atop bright uplifting synth layers and rushing drums, mimicking our excited heart beats, in the opening song, ‘Fear And Trembling’. The cheer bursting from the audience at the songs’ close is full of admiration and impress, with the challenge Dave powers through.
But will it last for the next 90 minutes or so?
Remarkably, yes, it does last! And what’s more, is that the sound mixer here tonight has done a superb job making all the instruments at an equal level to one another, and illuminates Dave's vocals so that if he were to struggle, we’d sure know! This especially when we hear ‘Don’t Let Your Spirit Wane’, ‘Go Farther In Lightness’ and ‘Perseverance’ as simple, stripped back songs played only as a piano solo with stunning skill resembling that of Elton John’s. These three songs are after Dave moved around the stage, filled with pure musical energy, and even head banged in a surprisingly suitable manner to climactic drum flurries.
Does he really have a chest infection you ask? Well, apparently so! Dave shares some humorous and heartwarming stories of family, friends, loved ones and songwriting and tells us how he was in hospital only last night! And here he is now, belting out exquisite vocal power and passion, that even when reaching incredible heights and soar high above in sustained serenity, are without fault, and sends euphoric tingles throughout me,! Bloody trooper!
The bands lyrics may bare a heavy weight at times, but the music, or at least as it is performed tonight, soothes and calms, then uplifts and excites. But don’t make the mistake of thinking you could fall asleep to the calming musical seduction, because at the end of the day, this is a rock show, and what would a rock show be without the crowd jumping and singing along in poetic harmony to the band all rocking out on stage? Well, as the cherry on top of this scrumptious musical treat, Dave jumps off the stage and unites with his fans at the front for the second time, this time to spark the already glorious hype in the bridge section of ‘The Deepest Sighs, The Frankest Shadows’!
After a quick break for Dave to wipe the sweat off and have another Strepsil no doubt, the band return to the stage for a two song encore of ‘Vital Signs’ and touring single, the euphoric rush of embracing confident energy, ‘Say Yes To Life’ filling the venue with static energy and echoes of singing and confetti nearing its end. This song is quintessentially the perfect song to close a high-spirited feel-good show, and I’m so glad they saved it until last to end the show on a incredible high!
It’s times like these when you really truly witness the power of music, and how with it, despite all odds and challenges, enables you to go farther in lightness and beyond!