Photo by Wesley Yen

All the Young Dudes

Young the Giant returns to Eugene

Francois Comtois, the melodiously named drummer with Southern California pop-rock band Young the Giant, tells me that, from his vantage point, perched up high on his drum riser, you get a special kind of feeling when a performance is going well.

“Everything’s loose, everything’s coming easy,” he says. “You’re listening to everyone else. By the end of the first three or four songs you’re going all out.”

When a show’s not going well, however, “You grit your teeth, and you get through it.” Even during a bad concert, “You can have fun with each other,” Comtois says.

These kinds of bumpy performances don’t happen very often anymore for Young the Giant, despite having gone through all the growing pains most bands go through, like playing to not a lot of people, Comtois says.

These days, though, Young the Giant does particularly well in college markets such as Eugene, where the band has seen a resurgence in popularity.

Young the Giant is back in town supporting last year’s Mirror Master, a natural step for a band known for playing just off-center pop-rock built around the dreamy choirboy vocals of lead singer Sameer Gahdi.

The band’s been together since they were all in school, and this history is behind what makes the band work. “Our wives and girlfriends are all friends,” Comtois says.

This chemistry helps the band manage all the different personalities. “There are a lot of opinions,” he says. “We feel very passionately about them. You have to know how to communicate.”

In 2010 the band scored minor hits with “Cough Syrup,” “My Body” and “Apartment” off their self-titled debut.

How novel it seemed, even then, for a band to write straight-up pop-rock tunes that still manage to feel touched by human hands. Yet Young the Giant manages the feat time and time again, including the single “Superposition.”

Despite Mirror Master coming just last year, the band is already working on some new material.

“We’ll be writing and recording,” Comtois says. “We’ll start to get loose ideas. Usually we kind of wait for one or two songs to connect with us. That will put us on a path. It’s probably a little too early to tell.”

For now, Young the Giant is looking forward to getting back to Eugene. “We will put on a hell of a show,” Comtois says. “Especially if we have a little Willamette Valley wine waiting for us.”

Young the Giant with Sure Sure

Saturday, March 9 • 9 pm

McDonald Theatre

$29.50 advance, $33 door • all-ages

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