Rising Australian producer and DJ Young Franco kicked off his US tour with a fun, funky night in San Francisco.
Tucked away in the heart of downtown San Francisco is the Rickshaw Stop – a former TV studio turned music venue – blink and you might miss it, if it weren’t for the purple octopus mural splashed across the front. Inside, you’ll find an intimate space draped in red velvet curtains, where you can walk right up to the platform stage and see the acts up close and personal.
The Rickshaw Stop often serves as the San Francisco tour stop for rising artists, and over the years has seen some of today’s biggest names grace its stage. In the electronic space, Sofi Tukker, Dillon Francis, GRYFFIN, Elohim, RÜFÜS DU SOL, Hayden James, and Flume have all performed there. Even pop stars that have skyrocketed to global fame including Lauv, Billie Eilish, Tove Lo, Glass Animals, Ellie Goudling, and Sam Smith started off at the Rickshaw Stop. The venue is a launchpad and a staple in San Francisco’s nightlife.
It’d been a while since I’d visited the venue, but when I saw that Young Franco would be kicking off his spring US tour here, I knew we had to go. The night started off with a groovy set from Starfari. With lights bouncing off the disco ball, his disco-laden selections featured classic singalongs that perfectly set the mood for the night. His energy was infectious and radiated gratitude as he warmed the crowd up.
When it was time for Young Franco, the excitement was tangible and every inch of the space was filled with people ready to dance. Right up front and center was a group cheering his name, you could tell they were huge fans, and it was hard to not get as excited as they were. When we last saw Young Franco, he was playing the debut edition of the Portola Festival. It was one of our favorite sets, but I couldn’t wait to see him in a smaller setting and really be enveloped by the music.
Right out the gate, he hit us with “Roll Out” and we were off to the races. The set seemed to have two movements, with the first being more disco/funk focused, and the second shifting into his more hip-hop-infused beats. We heard his originals including “Drop You Love,” “Juice,” “Girls Don’t Cry,” and even a mix of The Human League’s ’80s hit “Don’t You Want Me Baby.” The energy never dropped and the vibes were immaculate. Young Franco danced behind the decks the entire time and exuded pure happiness as he delivered his set. He is truly a performer and you can tell he’s comfortable on stage. The crowd definitely fed off his energy and sang every song right back to him.
The recipe is there for Young Franco to reach amazing heights. He’s a wonderfully entertaining performer and talented producer, with a catalog already full of infectious tracks. To top it all off, he is one of the kindest and most gracious artists I’ve ever met. Watching his set and seeing the sold-out crowd living for it made for such a fun night. I had a smile plastered across my face the whole time and couldn’t stop dancing. Given Rickshaw Stop’s history of showcasing artists who eventually go on to become massive stars, I kept thinking about Young Franco’s future. No doubt that the best is yet to come and we’ll soon be seeing him on the world’s biggest stages. I honestly can’t wait, it couldn’t happen to anyone more deserving.
Young Franco is on tour now! To see if he’s coming to a city near you and to purchase tickets, visit his Linktree.
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