After all of the bombast and hugeness of the Radiohead show
Sunday at the Sprint Center, it was an interesting contrast to walk into the Jackpot on a warm Monday evening for a much sparser, quieter event. I hadn’t been into the venue for a show since it changed ownership, and in truth very little has been altered. The furniture is arranged a little differently, and obviously there are some staff changes, but if it’s not a place you step foot in every day, the change is not dramatic.
Youth Lagoon didn’t have a local opener, so the show began with Dana Buoy, the side project of Akron/Family percussionist Dana Janssen. Buoy’s album, Summer Bodies
, was apparently fleshed out in a hut in Thailand, and Janssen has called the sound “tropicore.” I can’t speak to what tropicore is, but the music is a pretty big departure from the psychedelia of Akron/Family. It was, well, cutesy — love songs played from a mixer and keyboards. It was a good fit for the show, but I’ll probably stick with the Akron/Family catalog over Buoy for now.
The venue swelled for the headliner, and it was the first (literally) hot show of the year. When Trevor Powers, the babyfaced 22-year-old behind Youth Lagoon took the stage, the crowd fell silent, embracing the warmth and reverently taking in the 35-ish-minute set (I think he played just about everything off his debut, The Year of Hibernation). Powers’ strong voice filled the venue, and while most of the songs were sparse, the buildup on “Cannons” and “Montana” was satisfyingly layered and full-sounding. Powers engaged his fans, telling them that Idaho is indeed full of potatoes and that because of his motion-sickness problems in the car, he “[takes] a lot of motion-sickness pills. The off-brand ones get you higher.” Good to know. It was worth the trek out late on a Monday, and it will be interesting to see how Powers develops. He probably won’t be in the Sprint Center the next time around, but maybe will be on a bigger stage than the one at the Jackpot.