When was the last time someone made good use of a tambourine on the VMA stage? Not recently enough, in my opinion. But that's gonna change Sunday night. (No, Lil Wayne will probably not be shaking a tambo during his performance... although I guess you never know.) When indie darling Young The Giant take the stage at the Nokia Theater for their first-ever VMA performance, they'll be entering unchartered waters of this year's awards show. (And not just because of the tambourine.) Of the entire line-up of performers at the 2011 VMAs, Young The Giant will be the VMAs' only rock act.
Young The Giant released their self-titled debut album just less than a year ago, but the strength of haunting hits like "My Body" and "Cough Syrup" -- a soaring bald eagle of a song that takes off and never lands -- earned them instant obsession status amongst music bloggers and then festival-goers, landing them spots on Sasquatch Festival, Lollapalooza, Philadelphia's Radio 104.5 Summer Block Party, and the KROQ Weenie Roast festival. They'll be heading out on tour with Incubus almost immediately following the VMAs. And they would've played a big role in the U.K.'s Reading and Leeds Festivals, except they cancelled to do the VMA. (And America thanks you!)
Like Florence + The Machine who performed at the 2010 VMAs and became an instant household name, the California band is this year's VMA musical wild card. As lead singer Sameer Gadhia told MTV News, they get that you might not know exactly who they are. So how will Young The Giant manage to wow music fans who tune in to the show for bloody meat dress moments or exactingly choreographed routines? "We're not really doing any gimmicks," Gadhia said in Young The Giant's MTV News interview. "It's just us doing what we do: playing live with lots of energy." And after watching this little band with a very big sound (and even bigger potential) rehearse a performance that felt like a Coldplay- or even U2-big, I'm convinced their VMA performance is about to awaken a sleeping giant.
Watch Young The Giant perform live at the 2011 MTV VMAs live from Nokia Theatre L.A. in Los Angeles on Sunday, Aug. 28, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on MTV and MTV.com. Catch the live preshow at 8 p.m. ET/PT and cast your votes for Best New Artist up until the show airs!