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Live Review: Gang Of Youths, Day Wave, Spookyland

16 April 2016 | 11:00 am | Stephanie Oakes

"No jury needed, the verdict is out. Le’aupepe is the most magnetic human on this earth."

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An innovative sound begins the sold out Friday night Adelaide showcase. Meet Spookyland, the brainchild of Sydneysider Marcus Gordon, enlisting the help of his additional three-piece to bring his creations to life. The name could not be more fitting, each enigmatic track crashes and rolls onto the next like rumbling thunder and Gordon’s unique warbling voice is a whole new instrument in itself.

If Spookyland satiated some taste buds but a few punters desired something a little sweeter, floaty Californian dream rock takes the place with Day Wave. This time, lead Jackson Phillips is the mind behind the machine with his shiny new EP Hard To Read fresh off the production line. A loud mic created a sense of disjointed vocals; the instrumental sections could have flourished on their own, but it didn’t impact the show, with each tune slowly inviting punters closer to the action.

And then the action hit, and boy, did it hit hard. The second that anyone sensed Gang Of Youths could take the stage, the unstoppable force of bodies pushed forward, the lights grew bright and eardrums began buzzing. Dave Le’aupepe walks out and everyone loses their shit.

No jury needed, the verdict is out. Le’aupepe is the most magnetic human on this earth. He has melted the crowd into butter in an instant, writhing onstage, guitars are thrashing as he beckons each soul in the room to delve right into every inch of his mind. The Positions has received unbelievable nationwide acclaim and Gang Of Youth’s first LP is somehow intensified, more authentic and just better in every way since that little stage at The Gov has witnessed it blossom to life.

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A tattered setlist cites Rocky II as the first off the bat, a new track to be released in the future, before diving into Restraint & Release followed by Poison Drum. Three tracks in and a triple j Tune Rag is flying high above heads, girls are on shoulders and the crowd willingly take over lyrics at any opportunity.

The set is a kaleidoscope of sweat, strobe lights and missing frontmen, when Le’aupepe disappears off stage to be found two seconds later in the mosh, thrashing harder than anyone, a true testament to the guys’ dedication to producing stellar shows and crowd interaction again and again. A 20 second teaser of Outkast’s Caroline is turned into Knuckles White Dry — it's a chance to catch a breath of air before Magnolia, the clear crowd favourite of the night and inciting frenzy. If Gang Of Youths can continue this magic they’re creating, they’re going to be cemented as Australian musician royalty very soon.