In the Flesh! Gang of Youths @ The Tivoli


Pics Zach Hogg
Review Georgia Corpe

Known for their emotional poeticism, yet incredibly catchy and uplifting music, one of Sydney’s greatest Australian indie music exports, Gang of Youths, return to the touring circuit ahead of the release of their sophomore beauty Go Farther In Lightness. After the tremendous success of their debut, The Positions, it’s no surprise the Gang are upgrading to bigger venues, and Brisbane is no exception. The Tivoli is rife with twenty-somethings, keen to see one highly-anticipated live show.


Having been favourite picks for Aussie festivals since the release of The Positions, it’s been a rarity too see Gang of Youths in their own element with their own stage setup. A dark stage clattered with instruments and the projections of flowers, punters are greeted with the band’s string arrangements, reminiscent of the introductions of such songs as Strange Diseases and Let Me Down Easy. Frontman Dave Le’aupepe graces the stage, welcomed with a bellow of “yews”, quickly smashing into What Can I Do If the Fire Goes Out, a stand-out track from the sophomore album.

Le’aupepe wastes no energy preserved, head banging, wiggling about and nailing every single quick lyric, all while as he strums his screaming guitar. What Can I Do If the Fire Goes Out also goes to highlight the talent of drummer Donnie Borzestowski, a fast paced drumming wizard who’s head just would not stop bopping with every beat. Gang of Youths push through the first half of their set, being nothing short of a showcase for their sophomore release.


Not only a tight live show from the Gang, but with beautiful visuals lighting up the stage, reflecting off of Le’aupepe’s slightly ominous yet seemingly cheeky facial expressions, the band’s live show is bolstered and the emotion of Le’aupepe’s lyrics are highlighted, even more than usual.

Four out of the five piece leave the stage, with Le’aupepe being left with nothing less than his voice and a piano, all alone to play Knuckles White Dry. Before he swoons the audience with this incredible track, Le’aupepe tells us about it’s backstory, a song that he wrote about the car rides home leaving the hospital where his ex-wife with terminal cancer was lying, ending with the heartbreaking admission that his ex-wife had passed in March this year. And with that incredibly sad and sobering note, we all sniffled and wept as he wailed. Woah.

The set then gets a little more optimistic as the Gang get stuck into Magnolia and Let Me Down Easy. All in all, there’s a very obvious reason why Gang of Youths are one of Australia’s favourite indie bands, both in their releases and as live musicians. Bravo!


For the magnitude of people who can cram into The Tivoli, it was incredibly quiet as Le’aupepe pours his heart out during Knuckles White Dry – a song that tells a story of a some pretty depressing scenes.

Bobby Rein

Bobby is one of Bear Family's earliest family members. He has a sweet beard and likes to take photos, sing songs and brew the occasional beer. If you see him at a show, give him a cuddle.

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