Fans Raise a Glass to ‘Young the Giant’ at Surly Brewing Field

Young the Giant - Photography by Dylan Novacek

Last updated on July 4th, 2023 at 06:48 pm

Young the Giant performed to a sold-out crowd at Surly Brewing Field in Minneapolis for a perfect summer night of live music. Accompanied by German alternative act Milky Chance and Canadian artist Talk, the show was perfect for ushering in the summer concert season. 

Young the Giant – Photography by Dylan Novacek

Touring behind their latest album entitled American Bollywood, Young the Giant lead singer Sameer Gadhia embraced his Indian heritage with his outfit. Even the stage setup felt like a tribute to his roots, with the burning of sage adding a great touch. 

Young the Giant – Photography by Dylan Novacek

Not hesitating with their setlist, Gadhia and company pulled out fan favorites like “Something to Believe In” and “Cough Syrup” early on. The band’s early hits were an impactful part of the 2010s wave of alternative rock. Hearing these hits in a summertime setting felt very nostalgic. 

Young the Giant – Photography by Dylan Novacek

Early in my time working in the local music scene, I interned with the alternative radio station Go 96.3, where Young the Giant was frequently played. They were one of the formative groups that brought me deeper into the world of alternative rock. 

Young the Giant – Photography by Dylan Novacek

I was once welcomed to watch them play an in-studio session at Go 96.3 while I was in college, but my art history professor insisted I couldn’t miss that day’s lesson. Like a good student, I went to class…where we watched a video. So, if my professor is reading, I don’t remember that day’s lesson, but I do remember being super disappointed. 

Young the Giant – Photography by Dylan Novacek

Luckily, this was my second time seeing Young the Giant since that fateful day, and they did not disappoint. Their liveliness is tailor-made for a perfect summer concert. 

Milky Chance – Photography by Dylan Novacek

Their energy was closely rivaled by supporting act Milky Chance, another mainstay of the late and great Go 96.3. Their connection with the audience was electric. 

Fans of Milky Chance

Hailing from Germany, fans were excited to see they made the trip, with some German fans coming out and waving their flag for the band. 

Milky Chance – Photography by Dylan Novacek

Standout moments from their set included the alternative hit “Cocoon” and a selection of a few great covers. Lead singer Clemens Rehbein had a fabulous stage presence matched by his strong musicianship and fantastic vocals. 

Talk – Photography by Dylan Novacek

Opening up the night was Canadian artist Talk. Despite sounding like he was fighting through a cold, he had an enjoyable performance, kicking his shoes into the audience and sharing snacks with the crowd. 

Talk – Photography by Dylan Novacek

The standout moment from Talk’s set was a great cover of the “Battle of the Bands” song from School of Rock, as the lead singer delivered an excellent Jack Black impression. 

Although the night was great, there was one odd choice by Young the Giant: twelve songs in, they felt the need to walk off stage for two minutes to incite an encore. This encore set would last five more songs. Many fans were puzzled by that timing. 

Young the Giant – Photography by Dylan Novacek

Usually, an encore comes after about 16-18 songs, with a two-song set to follow. I know this is a picky critique, but I wasn’t alone in being confused, as I witnessed about 30% of the crowd leave before the band returned to the stage. 

Despite that, Young the Giant was incredibly enjoyable. Their influence in the 2010s alternative scene is unmatched, and they knew exactly how to cultivate an excellent experience. With fantastic special guests in Milky Chance and Talk, this would’ve been a show the late, great Go 96.3 would’ve been all over. 

Milky Chance – Photography by Dylan Novacek

It doesn’t feel like summer until you experience an outdoor show. Surly Brewing Field felt like a perfect setting with great food trucks and fantastic drinks. I was last there in 2019 for Of Monsters and Men, and I highly recommend you make the trip to check it out.

Written by Dylan Novacek

Photographer, graphic designer, and multimedia storyteller from St. Paul. Most likely listening to CHVRCHES, Of Monsters and Men or Fall Out Boy. Once featured in the New York Times for using the bathroom during Avengers: Endgame.


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