June 18th, 2023 – Columbus OH
On a bright evening in the outskirts of Columbus’ city scene, easygoing crowds of people leisurely approached Kemba Live’s grassy outdoor space. At the recent conclusion of Columbus Stonewall Pride Festival, concertgoers gathered for a fun end to an already love-filled day.
Typically I find myself dreading a show as I anxiously wait for it to begin. During the hours leading up to a show, you remember how nerve wracking it is to feel confident in your talent while also functioning independently in a space that is usually a comforting social experience. Of course, I still love going to concerts with friends versus by myself when shooting, but the latter definitely creates a different environment and experience. For this show, however, I felt comfortable as soon as I stepped through the threshold of the venue.
Wickedly quick and efficient processes (like security at the entrance), a feat that isn’t easily achieved at this venue, signals the high level of organization that Young the Giant’s team brought with them on the road. The air seemed to buzz with activity and excitement, the most human feeling I’ve witnessed in a good while. It seemed like the great organization (which included free water refill stations and donations/petitions for LGBTQ+ nonprofits and rights) perpetuated the electricity that transferred from the day’s earlier activities. Everyone danced, shouted, drank, ate, talked and generally seemed filled to the brim with joy. As an avid people watcher, the wave of positive empathy rushed over me very quickly.
The other photographers were chatty and friendly, which was a new feature to me. Crowd members allowed me to run around without annoyance, and many even chatted casually about my camera, my photos, my football jersey or even my life in general. Everyone was amped and running off of the friendly energy that Ohio exudes naturally, despite most natives’ dislike for the mellow state.
TALK was the first of three acts to go on. The musician was able to deliver good banter with the crowd and a bunch of catchy tunes, but the set left the crowd waiting for a burst in energy during the performances that were to follow.
Milky Chance, the next band to take the stage, delivered an electrifying performance with unique talents that are rarely seen in the contemporary live music scene (such as a solo harmonica performance from the band’s do-it-all member, Antonio Greger). Great energy, tunes and crowd work almost turned the show into a Milky Chance headliner, especially with the surprising amount of enthusiasm given for an opening performance.
Finally, the stars of the night came to the stage, and truly lived up to the crowd’s expectations. Young the Giant brought out an elaborate set up with carpeted stages, a multi-act themed setlist complete with video transitions, and authentic yet stylish outfits specific to each band member. The crowd’s enthusiasm seemed to grow, which I didn’t think was even possible. They kicked it off with their most loved songs, and were sure to sprinkle their hits throughout the set to keep the audience entertained. It was a truly magical performance by all bands; they set the perfect sultry summer spirit, giving all of us a night to remember with love.
YOUNG THE GIANT
Words and photos by Patti Doud. If reposting please credit @almostfamouszine.