Gang of Youths Play Energetic Show At The Basement East


Gang of Youths is an Alternative Rock band from Sydney, Australia founded by vocalist and guitarist Dave Le’aupepe, lead guitarist Joji Malani, bassist Max Dunn, drummer Donnie Borzestowski, and Jung Kim on keyboards. The band has been active since 2012 but did not release a full-length album until 2015 when they debuted The Positions which took them two years to record. Le’aupepe is not afraid to get personal in his songwriting, in the first album he narrates his struggle with depression to the point of attempting suicide and his relationship with his ex-wife who suffered from melanoma. The Positions quickly got played on Australian radio and obtained international acclaimed. Favorite tracks of this record include “Magnolia” and “The Overpass.”

Go Farther In The Lightness is the follow-up to The Positions in which the Le’aupepe shows you how he found hope after his dark period and shares it with the rest of the world. This album’s instrumentation gives it an enormous sound ranging from big string swells to anthemic guitar riffs and vocals. The lyrics are also a strong element in this record including literary references which are easy to find on songs like “Achilles Come Down”. The success of this album earned the band four ARIAs on 2017.

Upon their tour in the United States, the band made a stop to play at The Basement East in Nashville, Tennesse. The support act of the night was Gretta Ray a singer/songwriter from Australia who had just arrived to the United States to join Gang of Youths tour. Gang of Youths opened their 10 song set with “Fear and Trembling” and “What Can I Do If The Fires Goes Out”, the two opening tracks from their newest album. It was not even the middle of the first song when Le’aupepe was already showcasing his frontman capabilities as he ran and jumped around the stage. It’s was impressive seeing him maintain that energy throughout the whole set without missing a beat. In between songs the singer would stop to spread positive messages to the audience. Towards the middle of the set, Le’aupepe asked everybody to dance with him as the band began playing “Let Me Down Easy” and he jumped off the stage and proceeded to dance around the venue with his fans while occasionally stopping to hug them and deliver high fives.  After playing “Magnolia” which was supposedly the last song of the set the band said that there was no point of pretending that they were not going to play another song and instead of going back and staging an encore they proceeded to play “Say Yes to Life”.

The presence that Le’aupepe has on stage is incomparable to any other. He makes the effort to connect with everyone in the venue and does it effectively as he breaks the barrier between the group and audience and turns it into a whole.

Coverage by Jorge Sierra.

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