Gang of Youths at Down to Earth fire & climate relief concert, Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne on February 26, 2020


  1. The Deepest Sighs, The Frankest Shadows
  2. The Heart Is A Muscle
  3. Do Not Let Your Spirit Wane
  4. Go Farther In Lightness
  5. Common People – Let Me Down Easy
  6. Magnolia
  7. Vital Signs
  8. Say Yes To Life

Comments: Gang of Youths joins a handful of artists in creating and performing at Down To Earth – A Fire and Climate Relief Concert. The entire day is streamed live on YouTube. GOY is the last of seven acts to hit the stage.

It’s the first time the band’s home/founding country gets to see the new lineup with Jung primarily playing lead guitar, and Tom playing strings/keyboards/guitar. Whether it’s because of the new lineup, or the fact that the band is playing songs that are now ~3+ years old (or both), several songs are reworked and sound fresh and new. “The Deepest Sighs” begins with an extended, quiet intro that has Dave singing and playing guitar while Tom plays violin and Max plays keyboards.

Dave gives a speech before “Do Not Let Your Spirit Wane” thanking the bands and crews who helped organize the gig and are working for free, and also praising the efforts of the organizations involved in fighting the Australian bushfires and helping victims recover. He also calls on the Australian government to be more active in addressing climate change. The song itself is reworked a bit; the band plays it slightly slower than usual. Tom’s violin drives much of the first half of the song. Jung plays keyboards through the first verse and chorus, then switches to guitar for the second verse, while Tom switches to keyboards.

During “Go Farther In Lightness,” Dave leaves the stage and briefly embraces fans over the front row barricade.

After the song, Dave walks toward the side of the stage and gestures to the balcony seats above. He waves and taps his heart several times, then tells the crowd that the next song is dedicated to the band’s former guitarist, Joji Malani, who’s at the show. “We owe him one of the biggest debts of gratitude in the world,” Dave says, as he, Jung, Max and Donnie all salute Joji up in the balcony (and while Tom has started the song on violin). Dave sings a verse of Pulp’s “Common People” before the band fully launches into a reworked “Let Me Down Easy.” There’s no guitar to be heard in the first 3/4ths of the song. Instead, Tom plays a funky violin riff and even handles what used to be the guitar solo, while Jung plays keyboards until the start of the third verse.

During “Magnolia,” Dave does his usual leave-the-stage bit, but tonight he goes all the way to back of the seating stalls and sings to elated fans who can’t believe their sudden stroke of luck. It takes him so long to get back to the stage that the band has to play an extended ending to the song.

As they’ve done at several previous shows, the band plays an epic version of “Vital Signs” that begins with Dave repeating “I will feed you with my own two hands” several times. By the time they’re finished, it’s a 9.5-minute long version of the song.

Other artists on the bill include Angus & Julia Stone, Briggs, Jack River, Ruby Fields, Tash Sultana, and Thelma Plum. Together, the artists pledge to donate 100% of proceeds from the concert to five organizations who are involved in fighting the tragic bushfires across Australia and working on climate-related issues: Red Cross, WIRES, Emergency Leaders for Climate Action, Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal, and Firesticks Alliance Indigenous Corporation.

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