Young the Giant: Mirror Master Tour with Fitz and the Tantrums and COIN
Toyota Music Pavilion – Irving, Texas – July 6, 2019 | Words and Photos by Cassie Preston
I’m standing at Will Call, waiting for my media pass and there are two college age couples talking to the young woman in the booth. They are demanding a refund because the show has been postponed for so long. The group swears they’ve been there waiting for hours even though doors have technically only been open for one. Unfortunately for those two girls, the current negotiations with the woman in the booth aren’t going well. Their claim that Toyota Music Factory reimburses guests for postponed or rained out acts is falling on deaf ears. The woman in the booth doesn’t buy their pleas and eventually, I get my passes. However, the rain and lightning does cause the event to run behind for about an hour.
As the lights dimmed and Coin took the stage, the screams and cheers coming from the crowd were impressive. Especially for an opener’s opener. The lead singer, Chase Lawrence’s high energy spread through the audience during their top songs like, “Talk Too Much” and “Crash My Car”. He moves across the stage and venue speakers, interacting with other bandmates, eventually jumping off the stage into the pit, standing front and center against the crowd. Towards the end of the set, he struggles to breathe out his thanks to his fans and our city. It feels genuine; almost as if he never expected this of his band. He ends with a drum stand jump and promptly unplugs his keyboard, nestles it under his arm and walks off. The audience knows, he gave us everything.
As I wait for Fitz & the Tantrums to take the stage, I chat with some girls in the crowd. One of them screams to me that she is ONLY here for Fitz & the Tantrums. After my last review of their performance at Wildflower, I hope for her sake that they are amazing. But once again, Michael Fitzpatrick and Noelle Scaggs lack chemistry with one another and work around one another on stage instead of as a team. Mid-set, Fitzpatrick dedicates a song to their most loyal fans who have been following them for almost ten years. That’s when I hear it … the opening to, “Moneygrabber”. And honestly, thank God it isn’t that SMU kid in a hot pink windbreaker and backwards hat screaming for the song. Fitz & the Tantrums are fine but not great and primarily carried by Scaggs who outshines the band’s performance.
I take my place in the pit close to where I want to be when the show begins. The stage lights are up and as sound and tech guys come on and off the stage, there are screams from the crowd, hoping that it’s almost time. I finally look behind me to see the crowd that have been waiting through not only postponed performances, but also long opening acts, rain and lightning. A woman has her elbows on the barricade, propping her chin up. The side of her left wrist reads, “mind over matter”, the name of Young the Giant’s sophomore album. I ask her how long she’s been listening to the Young the Giant. 2014; the same year as the Mind Over Matter was released. She tells me about how she has actually traveled the majority of the Southwest just to see them. Only a true fan inks themselves and goes across the country for two hours of music … max. The lights dim and I turn back to the stage.
Sameer Gadhia, lead singer of Young the Giant, begins his band’s performance by equally covering their studio albums, beginning with the newest and working backwards. Gadhia is charged with passion and authenticity for his audience, clinging to his mic stand for “Oblivion” from their most recent album, “Mirror Master”. When the band gets to “Apartment” from their first studio album, Gadhia retreats to center stage as the lights change to an intimate red. His ability to capture and transition from the energy and electricity of his current music and back again to his moody and emotional roots is not only impressive, but enviable by any other performer. As the concert progresses, I notice that the set list has been carefully curated to equally incorporate songs from all four of their albums. Also, those setlist labels that section their performance into different acts wasn’t done by me. The band has decided the story they are going to tell us. This tour isn’t one where you’re only going to hear songs from the most recent album. Young the Giant understands that their music, sound, and ultimately their crowd has evolved as much as they themselves have.