Youth Lagoon Crescent Ballroom Friday, November 4, 2011
Last night can be summed up in one word: poetic. Phoenix got some long overdue rain, ushering in eagerly awaited hoodie weather, and Youth Lagoon, the brainchild of Boise's Trevor Powers, played its second show in Phoenix.
Youth Lagoon released its debut album, The Year of Hibernation in September and managed to attract a nearly sold out show last night. The album, recorded in Powers' bedroom, was played in full with the assistance of Logan Hyde on guitar. Powers balanced keys, a drum machine, and vocals to share intimate memories through a sound that hovers between the nebulous genres of lo-fi, dream pop, and chillwave.
The duo stood between two red lamps, the only light sources on stage. The faint smell of coffee lingered through the air as Powers sang lyrics as introspective and personal as the diary (or blog) of a typical 22-year-old. Youth Lagoon's set was very intimate, the epitome of what to look forward to in a smaller venue. A girl constantly shouting "woo!" briefly spoiled the moment, but eventually, she lost interest and/or finally acknowledged the requests of those around her to shut up.
Youth Lagoon played all of The Year of Hibernation, and a couple bonus tracks, including "Bobby," which Powers dedicated to his brother.
Youth Lagoon's encore was awkward to say the least. Once the duo left the stage, the audience clapped, the woo girl resumed, and quite a few fans asked if that was the end of the show. The house lights and music came back on, and Powers took the stage by himself a couple minutes later to play "Ghost to Me," Hibernation's second bonus track. Powers' said, "thank you," kissed the microphone, and left the stage.
Youth Lagoon is currently on tour with Young Magic, who is "from New York by way of Australia." The witchhouse trio was as creepy as it was intriguing. Eclectic percussion reminiscent of Yeasayer circa All Hour Cymbals melded with ethereal vocals and a pinch of dream pop. The group lit a couple candles before its performance for a spooky, yet captivating feel.
Local pop punk/emo rockers Dust Jacket employed a new keyboardist for their first and last two songs. The band attracted an enthusiastic crowd with an energetic set and played a balanced combination of new and old songs.
Factories reminded me of The Postal Service, and not just because the singer sported Ben Gibbard-style plastic frame glasses. This local electropop trio played a good mix of catchy and downtempo songs in the vein of Phantogram. Oddly enough, Eyelid Movies started playing when the band left the stage.
Youth Lagoon Setlist: Posters Cannons Afternoon 17 Bobby Montana The Hunt July Ghost to me (Encore)
Factories Setlist: Zombi Calypso No One Knows Alright Story Couldn't be Darker Canada
Critic's Notebook: Last Night: Youth Lagoon at Crescent Ballroom. The Crowd: A bored looking all ages section and a cheery main section full of hipsters and First Friday-goers.