Singer Sameer Gadhia has no idea how many people bought his band’s debut album after Young the Giant rocked the MTV Music Video Awards on Sunday. But he was able to measure the success of the performance in another way.

 

“On Facebook we gained 10,000 new fans in the last 24 hours,” he says. “Every single person that I’ve probably ever met in my whole life has contacted me in the last few days, saying, ‘I saw you on the VMAs and it was so cool!’”

 

What those new fans and old acquaintances witnessed was an electrifying four minutes of the only performance close to rock ’n’ roll on the VMAs, made extra special by MTV allowing 300 Young the Giant friends and fans from the band’s hometown of Irvine, Calif., to rock out in the front section. Gadhia says the fans’ zeal was carefully cultivated.

 

“It was kind of weird,” he laughs. “They were actually able to see the whole show via dress rehearsal, which was cool. They were like the only people there, so I think they got a kick out of that — but after that, they weren’t allowed to have any electronics on them. I didn’t know they were going to be this strict, but they kept them on lockdown in this nice ballroom. ... They kept them kinda stir-crazy for six or seven hours.”

 

Gadhia says he got to watch the whole show, which boasted a roster only a little more diverse than Young the Giant’s tour-mates. The band has shared bills with jam bands like Dispatch and modern rock acts like Neon Trees. On their current tour, they’re opening for Incubus.

“We don’t like limiting the type of people that should listen to our music,” says Gadhia.

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