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Gang of Youths' new live album represents a band at the peak of their powers

The dynamic outfit take fans on a ride through their historic MTV Unplugged show.

Set in the illustrious surrounds of Melbourne’s Cobblestone Pavilion, an adapted version of the ever-famous music series MTV Unplugged is brought to life.

And who better to mark this momentous occasion than Sydney rock troubadours Gang of Youths? 

Oozing with charisma and audible confidence, an excited Le’aupepe is joined by an orchestra to start ‘Let Me Down Easy’ and then ‘Fear and Trembling’. 

‘Keep Me In The Open’ is the first of multiple beautiful ballads performed. Joji Malani’s ethereal guitars take the reins, while Le’aupepe’s vocals combine forces with Jung Kim’s out of this world keys operation to create an unimaginably perfect sound. Le’aupepe doesn’t need a band. The power of his vocals alone, combined with (mostly) his own songwriting has won them award after award, and understandably so. 

A highlight of the live recording is ‘Do Not Let Your Spirit Wane’, a captivating ballad that delves into heartbreak territory. Le’aupepe speaks of a recurring dream, and the concept of not wasting your life. Instrumentation is at its best with the percussion being a focal point here.

Moments of pain and trauma can be heard all throughout this album, as can moments of bliss and a sense of self. The talent of Le’aupepe, Malani, Kim, Max Dunn, and Donnie Borzestowski is unfathomable. Nothing can match this. I’m calling it. Gang of Youths are a perfect band.

9.5/10