[live recap + phlipcam video] Youth Lagoon @ T.T. The Bear's Place

By the time Trevor Powers a/k/a YOUTH LAGOON released his September debut album, The Year of Hibernation, there was already a substantial amount of hype surrounding the dude's lo-fi bedroom project. The 22-year-old was the Idaho pick for our 50 Bands 50 States feature in July, for one, and that was back when only a pair of his hazy, cassette-quality tracks had surfaced. So I wasn't exactly shocked to learn that his gig at T.T. the Bear's Place last Thursday, November 17, was a sold out affair, especially with Sommerville duo Gem Club opening the show.        

Youth Lagoon makes earnest keyboard-pop, the kind of music that you listen to inside headphones at full-volume and suddenly your mundane life feels like some beautifully-rendered indie film. Joined on-stage by his guitarist Logan Hyde, Powers was able to seamlessly recreate this cinematic quality, with songs sounding almost more emotionally-charged than their recorded counterparts.  

This is mostly due to Powers' boyish vocals, which took center stage in this setting, no longer mixed beneath heaps of reverb and choppy drums. These elements are still present, of course, but his echos seemed to float above the 808-beats, filling the packed club with a palpable vulnerability. This, paired with lyrics that focus on adolescent idealism, was enough to make a room full of beer drunk 20somethings bleary-eyed and homesick for the quiet suburban towns they escaped from. Singles "Montana" and "July" were definite highlights of the set, but album standout "Seventeen" (which I captured on phlipcam above) was perhaps the tightest and most affecting of the night.    

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