It's been nearly five years since the last time Young Galaxy has played Vancouver, and there have been a few changes since. For one, the band has slimmed down to the two core members, Catherine McCandless and Stephen Ramsay. They were also just about to self-release a brand new album, Down Time, as they began their tour at Venue.
First up, though, was Vancouver's own Leisure Club. Their beachy, sunny indie pop drew people in on a raining night, as the crowd slowly amassed during their set. Kicking the set off with "Hold On", they played from their recently released self titled album, including the upbeat and catchy "Still Young", and the slightly frantic sounding "Entertainment". Their upbeat vibes were a good choice for opener, but the set really made me want to see them in a sunny outdoor festival (preferrably near a beach) rather than a dimly lit, smokey club.
Not long after, Young Galaxy took the stage, the two of them in front of a projection screen, flashing with colours, images, and lyrics from the songs playing. The duo was mostly backlit the entire night, the silhouettes of Catherine singing and dancing or Stephen doing, well, literally everything else on his keyboard & laptop.
They started the set with "Frontier" off the new album, and focused a lot on the newer material from the upcoming album, including the pulsing "Stay For Real" and the haunting "Elusive Dreams". Other highlights of the set included older songs, "Blown Minded" from their Shapeshifting album, Stephen taking over vocals for "Cover Your Tracks", and the great one-two combo to end off the set, the intensely passionate "Pretty Boy" and a big disco-esque intro for "Crying My Heart Out".
While I enjoyed their set, I did feel a little like it lacked the same impact as the last time I saw them live, with a full band. But it definitely fit the more ambient & chilled electronic sound of the new album, and even mostly in dark silhouette, McCandless remains one of the most compelling singers out there.
We Have Everything
Seeing Eye Dog
Under My Wing
Show You The Valley
Cover Your Tracks (Stephen)
Stay For Real
Crying My Heart Out