Sold-out crowd rocks with Young the Giant and Milky Chance in Dillon

The two bands celebrated the last night of their combined tour at the Dillon Amphitheater

Milky Chance and Young the Giant play to a sold-out crowd Thursday night at the Dillon Amphitheater.
Bryan Bull/Courtesy photo

The Dillon Amphitheater hosted the rock bands Milky Chance and Young the Giant on Aug. 31 for a night of high-energy dancing and jumping around to meaningful lyrics.

Up-and-coming Canadian artist TALK opened for the bands.

“You have been amazing, I have been out of breath,” TALK said to the crowd at the end of his performance.

The Dillon concert marked the end of a 52-show joint tour for Milky Chance and Young the Giant, which began in May and has taken the two bands throughout the United States and Canada. Not a single musician in either band showed fatigue, even at 9,100 feet of elevation. The performers set an example for the crowd of the kind of dancing they wanted to see, and the audience delivered.

The song that put Milky Chance on the map in 2013, “Stolen Dance,” could have been about the band’s performance in Dillon. The chorus includes the lyrics: “We can bring it on the floor/You’ve never danced like this before,” and it is likely many in the Dillon Amphitheater had never danced like they did at the concert on Thursday.

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Clemens Rehbein, the lead singer of Milky Chance, shows the crowd how to dance Thursday night in Dillon.
Bryan Bull/Courtesy photo

“This place is beautiful, it’s crazy, and you guys make it even more beautiful,” said Clemens Rehbein, the lead singer of Milky Chance.

Milky Chance is known for infusing Berlin house beats with hints of folk and reggae, taking traditional mountain-style music and enabling a more aggressive style of dance. At one point, Rehbein encouraged the entire crowd, previously standing, to get down on their knees in the middle of a song. When he gave the cue to stand up, after being kept low, the audience’s energy on the dance floor was infectious.

Dancing is a central theme of many of the band’s songs, old and new.

“This song was inspired by the desire of going out for a night and just go dancing, and forget about anyone or anything else around you,” Rehbein said about the band’s new song “Living In A Haze,” from its recently released June 2023 album of the same name.

In addition to its own songs, the band played a cover of “Tainted Love,” altered by what Rehbein labeled “Berlin dance vibes.” The performance also featured an impressive harmonica solo by guitar, harmonica, and bass player Antonio Greger.

All of the bands went on stage together during Milky Chance’s performance, and Young the Giant brought Milky Chance onstage dressed in hard hats and carrying cleaning implements during its song “My Body.”

Young the Giant’s performance began with the sound of crashing waves and a voiceover.

“All things have to begin somewhere, but where, and when? The story started long before we were born, but we don’t even know the plot,” said lead singer Sameer Gadhia in the voiceover before the band walked onstage. “It was like when you were a kid, and you saw stars for the first time. I mean truly saw them for all their wonder, not knowing that you’d be chasing this feeling for the rest of your life,” he said.

The voiceover returned periodically between songs, providing a narrative that ran throughout the performance of a search for meaning.

The mastery of Young the Giant’s music is that the band manages to combine philosophical lyrics with music that physically speaks to listeners. Before playing the band’s song “Firelight,” Gadhia spoke about the band’s trajectory in recent times and explained how the pursuit of understanding the meaning that accompanies mortality inspires the band’s work.

Sameer Gadhia, the lead singer of Young the Giant did not hold back at the Dillon Amphitheater Thursday night, the final stop on a 52-show combined tour with Milky Chance.
Bryan Bull/Courtesy photo

The song was inspired by “the things that make us human, the things that carry us on, even though this world is crazy. The thoughts inside of us that guide us to do beautiful, amazing things. And so at the end of the song, when the drums and the bass come in, I’m going to point at you, and when I do that, I want you guys to put up a cell phone light or a lighter, to share that part of yourself, and that intention to just use your voice more, tell the people you love them before it’s too late,” Gadhia said.

Ahead of “I Bite,” from the band’s most recent record, Gadhia spoke about how the song enabled him to connect with his father in a way he could not with spoken words.

“This next song is for all the fathers and mothers out there,” Gadhia said. “For the sons and daughters. The infinite cycle, the things that we pass on, and the things that we don’t. I wrote this song for my father, and he came out to our show last night at Red Rocks, and I was so happy to have him there. This is such a personal song. We don’t really talk about it very much, but it’s hard to talk about things between fathers and sons sometimes. Luckily, I have this song.”

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It was hard to know which song the crowd loved the most, as the band has so many hits and played them all in Dillon. Gadhia invited the crowd to sing the 2010 single “Cough Syrup” with him, and a plethora of phones were up recording during the 2014 “Mind Over Matter,” both songs proving the longevity of the band’s music.

With 20 minutes left in the set, Young the Giant walked offstage but returned after a few minutes to crank the energy levels even higher for a final set that included the use of the disco ball that hung above the stage all night. The last song of the night was the 2010 release “My Body,” and the entire crowd jumped along with Young the Giant and Milky Chance, the two bands closing out their tour together, combined onstage one final time.

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