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« Whirlpool Offers This World and One More Riot Fest 2013: Friday Review »

Concert Fri Sep 13 2013

Youth Lagoon Puts On a Show to Remember, Pure X a Show to Forget

Doing my homework before seeing opening band Pure X, a group from Austin, TX., would have clued me into what I was about to experience. For one thing, I would have found their Tumblr, Mellow Thrasher. I'm still debating whether or not that fully encompasses their "vibe." To start, not once did any of the four band members make eye contact with the audience, nor acknowledge that we were there. For an hour, we listened to the lead singer whine about something. (I'm not sure what, the filter on his mic was so thick I couldn't understand the words coming out of his mouth.) On top of that, his face was so constricted, the look of udder pain on my face undoubtedly rivaled his. The music was a bad marriage between the worst kind of emo and the most awkward kind of adult contemporary. Of their 2012 appearance at SXSW, Pitchfork tactfully wrote that Pure X was "adept at conjuring six-string clouds of lazy-day nothingness."

I was still traumatized when Youth Lagoon came on stage to save the day. But thankfully, Trevor Powers immediately connected with the audience and even called out some "bro" who urged him to chug his drink, getting a rise out of the crowd in solidarity against bro-dom. United we progressed, with Powers as our leader guiding us back to music sanity.

The vibe of the show was very much in line with the inspiration behind Youth Lagoon's sophomore album, Wondrous Bughouse. Powers refers to the music as an exploration of "the human psyche and where spiritual meets the physical world." The set was pretty awesome — a backdrop of multicolored waves and lighting that created a band of silhouetted shadows, setting the stage for a mysteriously seductive ambience. The change in energy was palpable and the audience grooved with the Youth Lagoon in a much more united front. The separation of band and audience was no longer, it was one group navigating various expressions of electronic pop music.

Rarely was there much, if any, pause between songs, with the band flowing from one crowd-pleaser to another, slightly favoring songs from their 2010 debut album The Year of Hibernation, with songs such as "17" and "Cannons," but the audience responded well to newcomers "Mute" and "Dropla."

Overall, Youth Lagoon put on a great show that showcased the bands balance of experimental electronic and pop sound. But I will never see Pure X again. Like, ever.

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John Freeman / October 13, 2013 1:13 PM

whoever wrote this article must still be in highschool. LOL.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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