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KJHK 40th Birthday Review: Youth Lagoon

On Saturday night, the Bottleneck was filled with an air of anticipation. As the crowd flowed in, the last
leg of KJHK’s 40th birthday bash was about to start. The hurrah of Youth Lagoon was soon to be at hand.

Moon KingThe clock struck 9 p.m. and Moon King kicked off the celebration. The band commanded the stage and
let loose a dreamy-yet-dancey set of 80s-influenced indie rock. Complete with a tight rhythm section, the band’s core duo of Maddy Wilde and Daniel Benjamin stirred up an ethereal sense of motion. The beat-laden haze stirred up the crowd, proving Moon King’s worthiness. The lights rose and anticipation once again filled the air. Youth Lagoon drew closer.

Youth LagoonFinally the lights dimmed as Youth Lagoon stepped onto the stage. The band started up and let loose a short but sweet set of slicked-up dream pop as core member Trevor Powers crooned in his signature high tenor. The band played a mix of songs from all three of Powers’ albums, swaying from his older dreamy tunes to the slick songs from his new album “Savage Hills Ballroom”.

An early performance of his staple song, “Cannons,” stirred the crowd higher and with a few more tunes would bring the great crescendo of “Sleep Paralysis”. When the tune’s lilting beat set in, Powers began to frantically run around the stage swinging fists and hopping on boxes like a 2005 Tom Cruise.

Trevor’s grip on the crowd held tight as he commandeered them through the newer raw intensity of “Highway Patrol Stun Gun” and “Rotten Human”. As midnight neared, Trevor sat the heaved-out crowd down smoothly with one last rising tune before running off.

Youth LagoonOf course the last song is never enough, and Youth Lagoon came back out to satisfy the crowd’s demands
for one more. The song rose up to a grand climax and then smoothly faded away again. The house lights came on and the crowd trickled out, well exhausted by Trevor and his boys.