Laptop rock can go a few ways in the indie world: hot chick (Phantogram), add howling guitars (Sleigh Bells), rock it out with a full band (Caribou), or add a single multi-instrumentalist for depth (Active Child). I prefer Caribou’s style, but both Youth Lagoon and the opening act, Dana Buoy, chose the latter.
Dana Buoy served as a worthy counterpart and opening band. His electro pop that swayed from indie rock leanings to all out dance music complimented Youth Lagoon in sound and style.
Youth Lagoon is able to achieve an epic and expansive sound with such sparse instrumentation that I cannot help to wonder what Trevor Powers could achieve if he were backed by a well-arranged 4 or 5 piece band. It could be monumental. It was still nice to see YT recreate that somber, slow-building ambiance that is captured on The Year of Hibernation. He’s found a tone that strikes a primal human emotional chord making Powers seem older than his years. A large crowd of kids hung on every word as the duo deftly moved through album highlights like “Afternoon,” “Cannons,” “Montana,” and the latest release, “July.” Trevor’s voice showed signs of stress and hoarseness – possibly from the tour – but it added a little gristle to his charming oompa-loompa style falsetto. A sampler or synth shit the bed during the closer, “July,” and stole the thunderclap drum beat from the climax but a howling Powers pounding on the keys and an enthusiastic clapping audience filled in the gaps nicely. This was a really good show – intimate and well paced – for a first time out and only one album’s worth of material. The concert proved YT’s songs in front of an audience further laying the groundwork for what could be an interesting musical career.