Youth Lagoon just released his wonderful new album Wondrous Bughouse via Fat Possum. You could say that his show at Bowery Ballroom tonight was a release show of sorts.
My only encounter with Trevor Powers band live was during his set outdoors at Pitchfork last summer. The talent was there, but the magic may have been lost in the air. I believe certain artist, such as Youth Lagoon, benefit directly from playing in small, tight, places where the music is contained at able to sound much, much, bigger. In big outdoor spaces things tend to be lost.
Nothing was lost tonight. Powers played in a Wondrous Bughouse of his own, as he was surrounded by giant figures that almost looked like giant teeth. Now with 4-members in his lineup, Youth Lagoon’s live show is beefed up considerably. The very first moments of set opener “Mute” were more than monumental and struck me dead in my core, without even considering letting up. I was both amazed and shocked at how genuinely huge that these songs sounded. I knew it wasn’t just me overestimating the power of the music, my ears were actually ringing. This was a good thing.
Powers has expanded his songs to a much higher capacity. Not only do the new songs sound larger than life, but big, bold, and full of heart. The Year Of Hibernation favorites such as “17” and “Cannons” got the rave reactions that they deserved. Even they received a slight makeover to enlarge their shape as well.
With a full band and a more developed sound live, it’s obvious that Youth Lagoon is expanding themselves to a large level. The songs are still very much at arms reach, but now with the ability to soar with a little more gusto.
It’s early to say, I know, but Trevor Powers just put on the best show of 2013, so far.
There are more photos from the show, posted below.
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