Review: Young the Giant at UCSB’s Thunderdome
O.C. Band (and Lots of Rain) Hit Campus on Halloween Night
Nearly 2,500 Gauchos braved the beating rains and howling winds of Isla Vista on Halloween night — and most of them weren’t even drunk. This was the pull for UCSB’s first-ever Halloween concert at the Thunderdome. The event, aptly named “Delirium,” was a mish-mash party consisting of two live bands, including upcoming indie rock group Young The Giant (of “Cough Syrup” fame), as well as psychics, caricature artists, photobooths, and free drinks — all for an entry fee of $5. Not bad for the price of a Pumpkin Spice Latte, and infinitely better than wandering the eerily silent streets of rainy IV.
The event was hosted by AS Program Board as a party alternative to the drunken, chaotic police state that is Isla Vista on Halloween night. Doors opened to students at 8:30 p.m., and the party lasted into the wee hours of the morning, as all the best ragers do.
Even the bands were feeling UCSB’s tradition of getting a little wild and weird on Halloween. When the opening act, local electro-pop group FMLYBND, took the stage around 10 o’clock, frontman Mac Montgomery wailed into the mic. “I want Isla Vista to live up to the expectation — let’s party tonight!” And the crowd did as they asked. Although the show began somewhat like an awkward high school dance, complete with gymnasium backdrop and mic feedback, by the end of the set students had started a circle pit and were dancing in the back of the arena and singing along to the band’s cover of Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart.”
It wasn’t until 11 p.m. that Young The Giant finally took the stage. “As you can see, we’re wearing what we usually wear,” joked singer Sameer Gadhia, who appeared in full baby attire along with the rest of the band. The guys showed up decked out in adult diapers, baby bibs with cheesy slogans, and even pacifiers and baby bottles for whatever mysterious potions they were chugging. (No alcohol allowed, remember guys?) “At least I can piss myself when I want to. That’s liberating, at least!,” Gadia exclaimed.
The Irvine natives then kicked into a two-hour set that kept fans on their feet until one thirty in the morning. Young the Giant may have ben slapped with the albiguous “indie” label, but Friday night they proved they could really rock. Gadhia spent the entire set flinging his body back and forth across the stage, and the rest of the band followed suit, kicking and screaming along.
Around midnight, they starts to reminisce about the last time they played at UCSB — years ago for frat parties “long before you guys were students” — and how far they’d come since. “We’ve been playing this song since then, back in Storke Plaza,” Gadhia began, kicking off into “Cough Syrup.” The crowd, to their credit, knew every word.
After another hour, as students slowly trickled out, the band left the stage abruptly, refusing to return for an encore after the “One more song!” cheer. But a handful of Gaucho pride “oles” eventually roused them to return and play “My Body,” as well as an excellent cover of R. Kelly’s “Ignition.”
Like any good Isla Vista party, condoms were blown up and bounced around the audience as the show came to a close. Not so far from a frat party after all.