Comments: During an initially mysterious visit to Finch Farm, the training facility for the Everton Football Club, Dave and Joji perform with cameras rolling. Bits of “Fear And Trembling” are posted on Instagram; a post from Warner Records says “filming something cool with @everton and @gangofyouths.” The mystery is revealed on October 2 when Everton publishes a 21-minute video recapping the band’s visit, with song performances, interview clips and more. Dave and Joji sing an abbreviated and modified version of Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” with the lyrics changed to “Bernard will tear you apart,” a reference to Everton winger Bernard.
Comments: Audio problems delay the start of Gretta Ray’s set, which in turn delays the start of GOY’s set by about 30 minutes. During the show, Dave tells the audience about “Bad Taco Night” — an early show in Los Angeles that the band has described as their worst concert ever. But there’s no worry of a repeat tonight. The Roxy is full and the crowd is loud from the moment Gang of Youths arrives on stage, and they sing along throughout the show. Dave dedicates “The Heart Is A Muscle” to the memory of his late father. During “Magnolia,” he makes his usual venture through the crowd, but it’s all on foot — no crowdsurfing tonight. The encore begins with an extra long version of “Vital Signs,” much like the band played at the Sziget Festival in August. “Say Yes To Life” includes Joji’s guitar snippet of the solo from “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Late in the show, Dave promises the audience that Gang of Youths would be back in Los Angeles next year and adds that the band will have a new album out next year, too.
Comments: Several fans sense a different energy in the air tonight (i.e., more electricity and anticipation) as Gang of Youths plays its second straight night at The Roxy — but tonight’s show was the first one announced, and it’s on a Saturday night, meaning it may have attracted a somewhat different audience. The band plays the same set as last night’s show, but no one who was at both shows really seems to be bothered — the crowd is, again, loud and energetic throughout the night. “The Heart Is A Muscle” is again dedicated to Dave’s late father. Dave forgets the lyrics during the second verse of “Let Me Down Easy,” so he stoops down and holds the microphone out for a fan in the front row. When that fan doesn’t pick up the right lyric, Dave leans out further and holds the mic for another fan — but that fan starts singing the 3rd verse, so Dave pulls back to the stage and picks up the song during the next chorus. It’s a very human and funny moment in the middle of the show that prompts Dave to joke after the song, “Gang of Youths’ songs have too many fucking words!” Dave does his usual walk through the audience during “Magnolia,” but has trouble getting back to the stage until he walks to the far edge and climbs up. He dedicates “Say Yes To Life” to the band’s friend, actor Alex Hodge from HBO’s Insecure, whom he describes as a “half-Asian kid from Sydney who managed to do what no one thought was possible, except for us and him.” Dave has previously mentioned that Hodge’s story inspired the writing of “Say Yes To Life.” He tells the audience that Hodge is at the show tonight.
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(Photos above by Dan Eliot, Tassoula E. Kokkoris, Matt McGee and Michelle Watson.)