Show Review: Youth Lagoon @ Mohawk (4.24)

For some of us, catching Youth Lagoon on this tour would be the first time we caught the group with a full line-up, as the last time I caught Trevor Powers he was working the stage on his own.  Such a change was likely to mix the sound up.  We arrived early to catch the recent signing to Matador Records, Magical Cloudz.

Read on for my thoughts and photos from the excellent Brian Gray.

For the first twenty minutes of Magical Cloudz set, it was pretty amazing.  The striking figure of a bald Devon Welsh clad in nothing else but a white tee and black jeans commanded the audience like nothing I had seen in a while.  Of course, as the set wore on, Austin showed up, ready to talk as per usual.  Devon’s voice is pretty incredible, and it’s really interesting that it fits so well into the sparse musical accompaniment; it was an occasion where I actually supported the lone figure working on stage behind computer/electronic work from his friend.  While nerves may have affected Welsh in regards to his conversation with the audience, his voice didn’t show it; he gave it his all for the entirety of the set, surely winning over a horde of new Austin fans.  I was sitting on the fence with the first single, which I liked, but now I’m quite excited to sit in my bedroom alone and listen to what is certain to be a beautiful masterpiece.

You can hear hints of a slight change in the music of Youth Lagoon on Wondrous Bughouse, but it wasn’t going to be a huge directional change just because he was bringing a full band on tour.  In fact, the songs sounded fuller, which was one of those things I personally thought would really propel the sound; including a full band was bound did have some drawback.  When Trevor first came out, his voice was actually utilized, in my opinion, as an extra instrument.  Beneath the richer sound of bass, guitar and drums, that voice occasionally got drowned out, except, oddly, on “Dropla.”  I think that would be my one complaint about the show because I really think Powers has a unique voice; it added an extra dimension to the songs.  That being said, I commend him for pushing his sound, especially with a band of longhairs that seemed extremely enthusiastic.  It’s clear that he’s come quite far since Year of Hibernation, and I can only continue to wish him good luck in the future.

As always, there are a few more pics at the photo site

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