Young the Giant at The Tractor Tavern

Erin Lodi / February 22, 2011

All Photos by: Erin Lodi

Remember a few years back when you fell in love with The Strokes? The sound was at once new, and then, suddenly, ubiquitous. Young the Giant seem to encompass that same sort of new trending sound. It’s a fresh indie rock — easy to listen to, easy to dance to, and bound to be popular.

(P.S. That doesn’t make it bad.)

The Californian quintet played to a sold-out crowd at the Tractor Tavern Saturday night in Ballard, along with pop rock Canadians Mother Mother as well as Kitten.

Frontman Sameer Gadhia was all Julian Casablancas (read: smoldering, powerful and seductive between two microphones: a standard and a vintage setup) as the group kicked off their set with “Apartment” and the crowd exploded with enthusiasm.

Drum sticks went flying and guitar strings broke as the band formerly known as The Jakes took over the Ballard stage. Young the Giant – consisting of Gadhia, Jacob Tilley (guitar), Eric Cannata (guitar/vocals), Payam Doostzadeh (bass) and Francois Comtois (drums/vocals) played nearly all of their debut self-titled album. The group gave a rad rendition of “St. Walker,” followed by “Islands,” before rocking out a final “My Body,” pre-encore.

It’s a sound best heard — and seen – live. Young the Giant puts on an electric performance of their dancey, indie rock, despite an album perhaps fairly described by Pitchfork as vague and lacking personality. Live, the sound is dirtier, more authentic. Guitar-heavy, it conjures up just a little early Kings of Leon, too. (Before they cut their hair, of course, back when they sounded less like a sports car commercial.)

You’ve got to put this band on your must-see list for Sasquatch – they’re slated for the Main Stage on Monday, May 30. Check out a video of them playing an acoustic rendition of “Apartment,” if you’re still unfamiliar with this band, but know that they bring a much harder rock presence to their stage shows.

Young the Giant was preceded by Mother Mother, who offered a peek at their upcoming album Eureka with “Simply Simple,” the first single on the album to be released next month.

Ryan Guldemond’s gorgeously androgynous vocals pair well with singing keyboardist duo Jasmin Parkin and Molly Guldemond (his sister). Neat guitar riffs combine with backing melodies for a unique sound from this Canadian pop set.

But wow factor of the night may have been 16-year-old phenom Kitten frontwoman/girl Chloe Chaidez, who no one could stop talking about. The group recently released its first 18-minute EP, Sunday School. It’s a little Gossip, a little Karen O., a little amazing. Don’t miss “Kill the Light,” available through the band’s website.

Mother Mother

Young the Giant

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