Young Rising Sons | Club Bahia (Los Angeles, CA) | October 29, 2015 | Photo Credit: Kristen Coveleskie |
It’s a case of then versus now. The last time we saw Young Rising Sons live was post-SXSW: In March at the Troubadour in Los Angeles as they kicked off their national tour with Halsey. And even though frontman Andy Tongren’s vocals were suffering from a case of noticeable strain that night, the New Jersey quartet powered through to flex their natural talent for solid pop/rock hooks and earnest charm on the sold out room. So we welcomed Young Rising Sons and their Let The Kids Riot tour back to LA and did so at one of the city’s latest in a crop of fledgling venues: Club Bahia in Echo Park.
Generally, any venue with the word “Club” in its name makes me itch and since, aesthetically, Club Bahia looks and feels like kin to Silverlake’s Los Globos (not sure whether or not they’ve dropped the ‘Club’ from their name), my reservations were kind of on point. But, fortunately, so were Young Rising Sons. The physical stage was cramped and the room’s sound a tad unforgiving depending on where you stood, but Tongren (with signature flag-draped mic stand and red head band in place) and his mates Dylan Scott (guitar), Julian Dimagiba (bass) and Steve Patrick (drums) brought their bright, melodic and modern alternative sound and penchant for heartfelt and heart on their sleeve lyrics out to play for a notoriously youthful LA crowd ready to play with them. And even though it was pretty damned obvious that I was old enough to be the mother of several someones in the room, no harm: Young Rising Sons have proven to be worth the time because they don’t suck (striving for simplicity, here). Opening with the optimism and driving percussion of “King of the World” set the night’s tone and, this time, Tongren’s voice was razor sharp, perfectly flexible and treading the line of oh-so-fucking-pretty when he reached his higher range.
Everything here felt simple and right, even easy with how natural the boys in the band play their roles. The award for Most Animated Musician Who Is Not The Lead Singer goes to Dimagiba and we look forward to his acceptance speech. Their recent EP is titled The Kids Will Be Fine and we suspect that it’s apropos especially when you take into account when Tongren broke things down on “Somebody” stripped to nothing but him, an acoustic guitar and his voice against…rather, with the room. Girls swayed, Tongren connected with spoken appreciation phrasing sentences to be inclusive and embracing. And that’s where Young Rising Sons, figuratively, earn their money: connecting. And doing so with a down to earthiness braced with joyful uplift all wrapped up in rock n roll skinny jeans. Sometimes it’s those simple moments that translate into the most shiver-able, important and – genuinely – memorable. But that’s not how you close a show. Oh no. That you do by rolling through a wonderfully, inappropriately titled song like “Fucked Up” about appreciating your girl even when she’s at her worst. Which, ironically, felt damned appropriate.
For the record, the kids did not actually riot but there was a lot of dancing and singing.