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Gang of Youths at Brooklyn Steel (5/10/22)

Australian indie-rock band Gang of Youths played what was “basically a home show” (in their own words) at Brooklyn Steel this past Tuesday, May 10th. As frontman David Le'aupepe shared during the show, he has deep ties to New York through his sister, wife, and the band’s frequent returns over the years. And the show undeniably felt like a comfortable reunion, with Le'aupepe’s boisterous charisma easily embraced by a relaxed and welcoming crowd.

Gang of Youths are currently touring in support of their latest album angel in realtime. Formed in 2011, the band is a stadium act in Australia and a steadfast success in the US, making recent appearances throughout the late-night talk show circuit. The five-piece band consists of lead vocalist and principal songwriter David Le'aupepe, bass guitarist Max Dunn, drummer Donnie Borzestowski, and keyboardist and lead guitar Jung Kim, along with new addition Tom Hobden, who was a touring member of Mumford & Sons. Touring keyboardist and percussionist Louis Giannamore also joined the stage with the band.

Gang of Youths produced an engaging, energetic live show that was more than worthy of their equally epic indie-rock sound. The members interact playfully onstage, and Le’aupepe busts out his best drunk-dad-at-a-barbecue moves. Many of their songs prompt you to jump up and throw a fist in the air, actions highly encouraged, if not demanded, by the band – they restarted the performance of “Let Me Down Easy” three times before deeming the audience’s energy high enough to continue. But in between jokes and bigger-than-life anthems, the band pulled fans in with quiet moments of introspection, most notably Le’aupepe solo piano performance of the deeply personal “Brother”. It can sometimes be hard to buy into this style of grand, stadium indie rock, but Gang of Youths show that they don’t take themselves too seriously, and are genuinely there to just connect with people and have a good time. And you can’t help but oblige.

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