How it felt to finally witness Gang of Youths in San Francisco

On Monday May 16th, San Francisco’s Fillmore welcomed Australian rock band Gang of Youths for their Angel In Real Time Tour, featuring tour support from Quinn Christopherson. Originally formed in Sydney by frontman Dave Le’aupepe in 2011, Gang of Youths relocated to London in 2017. They just  recently released their fourth studio album, angel in real time, in February of this year. I was personally very excited for this show, because I hold a special place in my heart for Australian music and find it is much underrated. Not only are these bands incredibly talented, all the Aussie bands I have had the pleasure of working with have been extremely kind and humble. Throwback to 2019 in front of SXSW’s Australia House Stage, where I ran into Gang of Youths’ lead singer Dave on the sidewalk out front. I told him I was a fan and he kindly took a photo with me; he asked me my name and we went our separate ways. Later that night at some food trucks eating, I heard my name called and was shocked to see it was Dave, who was just walking by waving hi to me. It made my entire trip; it was so incredibly nice of him to do that and made me feel so special!

Fast forward to present day and I finally get to see Gang of Youths in action.

Opening the concert this night was Quinn Christopherson from Anchorage, Alaska. The Ahtna Athabascan and Inupiaq singer-songwriter was joined by fellow Alaskan Nick Carpenter (Medium Build). The two had a very heartfelt set, featuring honest and sometimes even funny lyrics. On the song “Loaded Gun”, Quinn sings about needing sun. He also played his newest release “Evelene” that he dedicated to his sister and had the entire crowd’s attention. In 2019, Quinn Christopherson was the winner of Bob Boilen’s NPR Tiny Desk concert. Keep an eye out for Quinn, who will be releasing his first full-length album soon! Immediately after the Gang of Youths tour, you can catch Quinn and Nick on tour opening for Lucy Dacus and Courtney Barnett.

After a short break, it was time for Gang of Youths! The house lights dimmed, on came the spotlights and out followed the band, greeting and waving to the crowd. Last, but certainly not least, Dave Le’aupepe appeared, as if floating across the stage. He came out dancing up a storm and I don’t think his hips ever stopped shaking for that entire first song! Talk about a frontman! After the first song, Dave introduced the band and welcomed their friend Louis Giannamore, who was filling in on drums for Donnie. You see, the band had some bad luck a few days prior at their tour stop in Philly; not only was one of their crew members electrocuted, causing major electrical issues onstage, their drummer Donnie fractured his pinky finger, making it impossible to drum for the remainder of the tour. Donnie was still there in good spirits, helping out where he could on percussion.

If you’ve never heard of Gang of Youths, I highly recommend you do so and then go check out a show. This show was by far my favorite show of 2022! Dave Le’aupepe conveys so much emotion in his singing and connects eye-to-eye with each fan… The songs are already so cinematic, it’s like you are listening to a soundtrack. Pair this with Dave’s charisma and you have a show you’ll never forget. 

Photography by Katey Schoenberger

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