For Young The Giant the burning question seems to be: How much longer can the band soak up the success of its debut album? After the self-titled 2010 LP got rave reviews and rocketed up the charts after a 2011 MTV VMA’s performance to a peak spot of 42 on the Billboard top-200, the band has toured extensively with little more than a dozen songs to its name and only talks of a new album. However, when Young The Giant took the Central Park SummerStage last night to a sold out crowd, the band seemed to face this looming question head on and dispel of it with a set heavily highlighting three new songs and the somber admittance that “this will be the last time we play New York City for a few months” because they have a sophomore album they need to record.
Lead vocalist Sameer Gadhia took the stage first and jumped right into the set by crooning the chorus to “I Got” in acapella, before the band trailed in behind him. His soft and fluttering voice sounded as good live as it does on record. Early into the set the band introduced a new song “What You Get” that got the crowd shaking with its syncopated dance beat. After the melodic, treble chord heavy “12 Fingers,” the crowd went absolutely nuts when guitarist Eric Cannata began picking the intro notes to “Cough Syrup,” the band’s anthem about breaking free which may or may not have been popularized by its rendition on Glee.
Gadhia sat down to play the keys for the first time of the night for “Camera,” a new ballad featuring a organ-like minor chord progression throughout the song. It was by far the best of the new songs and held its own among the hits of the debut album. In a way it was reassurance that Young The Giant has greatness yet to come, that it did not exhaust its musical writing talent in one shot on that first record.
The band saved the best for last, closing with “Apartment,” my personal favorite “Islands” and then its most popular song “My Body.” And while the end of the set meant NYC’s last glimpse of Young The Giant for a while as the band sets off to record an album that probably won’t see the light of day until 2013, it gave us a glimpse of what the future hold. Maybe there is life for Young The Giant after its self-titled debut.