Youngblood Hawke

The Joint, Dec. 6

The L.A. indie-pop band rocked a standing-room crowd of spirited kids for X107.5 FM’s Holiday Havoc show. Opening for the Shins, Passion Pit and AWOLNATION, Youngblood had the distinction of being the newest band on the bill. The musicians stood out with their up-tempo pop/rock fusion of sound and instrumentation.

Dressed in a whimsically clashing outfit (stripes and polka-dots), lead singer Sam Martin gracefully danced across the stage while harmonizing with vocalist Alice Katz, who played a multitude of instruments throughout the 20-minute, three-song set. The songs came from their September self-titled debut, and included these standout moments: Martin sang “Forever,” which he dedicated to his ex-girlfriend as well as “Stars (Hold On)” as he hopped around and harmonized with Katz. He then played a keyboard solo during the song’s lyrical intermission, which was met with the enthusiastic approval of the hipsters, who also hopped around.

While performing “We Come Running,” the band raised their energy to match Martin’s by adding an assortment of instrument changes and configurations. Katz switched from tambourine to drums and back to tambourine again while her husband/lead guitarist, Simon, lead the audience in a synchronized “clap-along.” Martin and Katz joined in on percussion as the bass from all three drummers dominated the room, concluding a passionate and promising beginning for this youngblooded band. ★★★☆☆

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By Matt Jacob

When four well-dressed elderly ladies rolled into the arena—and I mean literally rolled in, on Rascals, not braking until they reached their floor seats five minutes before opening act Cheap Trick hit the stage—my first thought was: “Aww, how sweet. They heard Steven Tyler was performing and think this is going to be like American Idol!” My second thought, after scanning the arena and spotting many more sexagenarians: “Oh, shit—is this going to be like American Idol?”