The immediate takeaway from any video in Young the Giant’s “In the Open” series is that location makes all the difference in one’s perception of a performance. Just look at “Mind Over Matter,” the first adaptation from their critically acclaimed January album of the same name, which is changed from a rollicking psychedelic/alternative rock jam into a haunting, soulful foot-stomper when the band performs it in the shadows of a mostly darkened cave.
Their second In the Open session, a video for “Anagram,” is equally transformative as the group takes to a cliff in the Angeles National Forest while on a break from touring with Kings of Leon. You can tell that singer Sameer Gadhia in particular is feeling inspired by the locale as he sports some decidedly non-prescription eyewear and barely restrains himself from dancing wildly in place. The location is utterly serene, and the band plays a crystal clear rendition of “Anagram,” although Gadhia does his best to steal the show as he belts “This time will the stars align? / I’m thinking that it’s all the same!”
The band intends to continue releasing In the Open session videos for the songs of Mind Over Matter roughly once a month. If they’re all this good, we’ll be waiting with bated breath.