8/6/14 | Brighton Music Hall

Boston’s dirty water was warmed with a glimpse of California sunshine last Wednesday night at Brighton Music Hall. Youngblood Hawke, a pop-rock band from LA, visited Boston as part of their “Pressure” tour and impressed with their dance-inflicting tunes and unpretentious charisma. The group, composed of Nik Hughes, Tasso Smith, Alice Katz, Simon Katz, Oman Ahmed, and Sam Martin, will continue onto a tour with Panic! at The Disco.

The stage was already warm by the time Youngblood Hawke arrived onstage, thanks to Caught a Ghost’s sharp opening performance, which laid down heavy sax and heartfelt vocals seasoned with tambourine. The room was almost full, but not packed, and Youngblood Hawke’s vibrancy filled the empty space with their sheer volume and spirit. 

The band started with a stunning new single, “Pressure,” which boasts lyrics such as, “I am a killer of the sun / Just a glimpse of that I have become / You can’t tell shelter from the shade / Shadows move and leave you wide awake,” yet manages to deliver these heavier themes in a digestible fashion via pop synth. My favorite song of the night, “Stars,” inspired with its suggestion to, “Hold on, hold on / The stars are bound to change.” But the best part of the tune was the melodic chanting of the chorus. Not only were these songs impressive for their poetic undertones, they were dancy and catchy too. 

Youngblood Hawke’s performance seemed intimate among the band, with members smiling at one another and looking genuinely pleased to be performing. This same feeling extended into the audience and made for a welcoming atmosphere. While band members sipped PBR between songs, more than one person in the audience did the same. I felt more like I was at a garage concert than at a music hall, and when lead singer Sam Martin implored the crowd to “party like it’s Friday,” everyone obliged. 

The crowd’s enthusiasm for the band prompted a stunning encore performance of their hit “We Come Running.” The crowd sang the song’s chorus in drunken harmony. The appreciation felt mutual as Martin closed the night with a grin and said, “Thank you, Boston. You guys are fucking perfect.” I will certainly come running the next time they’re in Boston. 

A Wicked Wednesday Night: Youngblood Hawke
Pros
  • Spirit-filled, catchy tunes
  • Fun way to break up the week
  • High-energy set
Cons
  • Certain lyrics inaudible
  • Long time between opener and main performance
9.1Overall Score

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