Five thoughts: Young the Giant’s Boulevard Pool show

Young the Giant brought their dreamy tunes to the Boulevard Pool April 11.
Erik Kabik, Retna

1. Sameer Gadhia’s vocals have such a warm, wholesome quality, it was a shame that the band routinely overpowered them throughout the Friday night set at the Cosmopolitan’s Boulevard Pool. Still, the frontman managed to show off his vocal abilities quite well during set opener “Anagram,” from soaring falsettos to his signature, hearty howl. Set standouts “Firelight” and “Apartment” also exhibited his voice’s mesmerizing nature.

2. While the band was a bit loud, it still sounded good—too good, really, as tracks sounded identical to their album cuts. No backing track accusations here; the band is just incredibly rehearsed, something that comes with playing together for a decade. Still, it would have been nice to see some improvisational moments throughout the set. How about an acoustic version of wistful fan favorite, “Apartment,” a cover song, or straying slightly from their studio-perfect, beach bonfire-ready sound?

3. While not nearly as commercially successful as its eponymous debut, the band chose to focus on sophomore follow-up Mind Over Matter. It was a good idea, as Young the Giant has played Vegas more than a few times with just one album to pull from (see: multiple shows at Cosmopolitan’s Book & Stage, two nights of opening for Incubus at the Joint, a set at Mandalay Bay’s beach and even a previous concert at the Boulevard Pool).

4. Almost right off the bat, the band played Mind Over Matter’s lead single, “It’s About Time,” and didn’t dive into another commercial success until set closers “Cough Syrup” and “Crystallized." This could be why the crowd seemed to get a bit restless halfway through the show, as fans few and far between were singing along to the lesser-known tracks. The crowd thinned mid-concert, and toward the end, many in attendance were stumbling toward the exit doors.

5. Even though that might have been the case, those who stuck around for the three-song encore definitely reaped the benefits. YTG reclaimed the stage with “Apartment," continued with “Mind Over Matter” and concluded the concert—and apparently this tour—with a rollicking version of rock anthem “My Body.”

  • As the singer approaches 50, his vocals remain a high point, his mix of throaty growls and raspy screams sounding near-perfect.

  • He’s done acid in Las Vegas, which he calls “a bad life decision.”

  • "There’s no way we could cover everything we have. It would have to be a three-and-a-half-hour show."

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