Still, their afternoon set at the Lands End Stage of Outside Lands certainly proved to be a triumphant return to the masses.
Young the Giant didn’t waste any time getting into the new material. The quintet’s opening song was the powerful “Teachers,” which is a rambling rocker that allows frontman Sameer Gadhia to nail the chorus with his unmistakable passion on the mic.
The driving guitars of Jacob Tilley and Eric Cannata added to the incendiary nature of the song.
From there, Young the Giant drew from their self-titled debut album – albeit from the fresh and funkily-timed “Anagram.”
Many of the fans who were assembling around the main stage for the evening’s final acts — Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Nine Inch Nails — seemed to be enamored with Young the Giant’s explosive pop-rock.
Numbers like “I Got,” “Cough Syrup” and “Apartment” are no strangers to the radio airwaves.
But a tasty gem like “Strings” got the flower-power crowd dancing even if they didn’t know the simple refrain from the start.
While they are all housed in L.A., San Francisco’s Outside Lands proved to be the first California festival the band has played, and they closed out with two memorable tunes to mark the occasion.
The first entry to their victory lap was “Islands,” which took a dark tone amid Gadhia’s haunting vocals. And then it was time to rage with the bombastic “My Body.”
While drummer Francois Comtois and bassist Payam Doostzadeh laid down a rumbling undertone, the guitars reared their raging heads.
Cannata and Tilley attacked their axes with reckless abandon, jumping across the stage as they matched Gadhia’s fervor through their fretboards.
Gadhia even went out to the barrier separating the fans from the band to sing the final few bars, and there is no doubt that he could have crowd surfed a few football fields across the assembled masses if he wanted to.
At this point, Young the Giant is essentially working a few big festivals over the next few months, playing occasional shows.
But judging by their performance Saturday at Outside Lands, you should bookmark their future tour schedule.