Alexis Young is no stranger to the Vancouver music scene. Formerly of Sex With Strangers, she recently struck out on her own with her solo project Youngblood. And even though she's taken the city by storm the last few months, I've somehow missed every live show... up until now. With her EP Feel Alright coming out the following day, she took to the Fox Cabaret Thursday night to celebrate its release.
I got to the venue just after Rococode hit the stage; Laura Smith and Andrew Braun joined by drummer Jason Cook for their last show of the year. They focusing on their latest album Don't Worry It Will Be Dark Soon, as fog swirled around the dimly lit band, matching their dark and moody synthpop, with Laura's haunting voice on songs like "Crystalline" and "A Diamond", balanced by Andrew's voice as he took over on the higher energy "Panic Attack".
I feel like I hadn't seen them play a proper show in a while, and it was good to see them again as they put on a strong opening set.
It wasn't long before an intro video ran on the screen and Youngblood took the stage, Alexis Young front and centre joined by her backing band, which included members of Gay Nineties. And she was a natural in the spotlight as she fronted the band like a firecracker. With great confidence and presence, she hardly stood still, moving and dancing around the stage, even going right up, and into, the crowd.
Starting off with the opening track from the EP, "Broken English", the band played some dreamy indie-pop songs with an edge to them -- she joked after one song there were far too many "fucks" for it to ever be considered for radio, and one of my favourites of the set was "Razor Fine", about those people who you instinctively hate at first sight.
Other highlights included "Alone With You" and its crushing chorus of "I could never be alone with you", the soaring title track "Feel Alright", and (as if I wasn't already musically enamoured) a great cover of a song off one of my favourite albums: Bloc Party's "Positive Tension".
The set drew to an end with a sultry jam that grew to an explosive climax, and Alexis visibly grateful for everyone coming to the show.
It was a great EP release show, and I'm glad I finally got the chance to see Youngblood perform live. Fir the first time, but surely not the last.