by April Foster
To celebrate the launch of the Treefort Music Fest, three of Boise’s hot-ticket bands delivered a damn fine show at Reef on Jan. 16.
Lerk, a new project from former Youth Lagoon collaborator Erik Eastman, opened the evening with a set of dark electronic music. Eastman worked solely from his laptop and multi-effects unit to create layered soundscapes reminiscent of Balam Acab or Oneohtrix Point Never. Some progressions lacked in coherence and kick, but overall it was a decent performance for the band's first outing.
Mozam, formerly known as Mozam Beaks, delivered its second-ever performance, and it was markedly better than the first. The duo seemed more relaxed and adventurous. Mozam suped-up its long electro jams by adding additional sounds and tweaks to keep the audience engaged. The band ditched a lot of the over-repetitiveness that bogged down its first show, and instead focused on working its material into big peaks and releases of dance floor goodness.
Live Mozam is a lot different from studio Mozam. In a live set, the band mostly focuses on creating fast, psychedelic dance jams that get people moving. Recorded Mozam is a lot of lengthy, tripped-out island- and Middle-Eastern-infused jams. It would be nice to see some of that worked into the show as well.
The road has been good to Youth Lagoon. Months of touring across the nation have enabled Trevor Powers to hone his craft and develop his professionalism. His current show is a far cry from the nervous kid who performed at Colorcube less than a year ago.
Youth Lagoon’s set on Monday night was outstanding. Powers and guitarist Logan Hyde were locked in, working around each other’s notes and lines with precision. Powers' foot-triggered beats carried more force than ever and seemed clearer—elevating the soft, introspective songs to a dance-party level. His voice was powerful and precise, and he used it to pepper the nooks and crannies of songs with vocal accents and intonations.
The only detraction was the seemingly tie-dyed video projections of nature scenes. Sure, it was nice to look at from time to time; but there are plenty of other visuals that would complement Youth Lagoon’s music far better.
All in all, it was a killer night of local music that showcased the best in Boise’s up-and-coming indie scene. These bands have a lot of momentum behind them, and it will be interesting to see where it all leads.
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