Perched behind his keyboard/synthesizer station, Trevor Powers aka Youth Lagoon filled the Observatory with slow-building ambient jams on Thursday night. With a dry wit that seemed to surprise the crowd, Powers commented (as most performers usually do) about the venue’s unusual locale. “It’s beautiful around here,” – either a sarcastic comment concerning the immediate sterile business neighborhood or a genuine one about the proximal Pacific beaches. “With all these business offices around I felt like I needed to tuck in my shirt, just for you.”
Later, with a more sincere tone, Powers asked, “How close is the ocean? Pretty close?” to which a fan responded “Closer than Idaho!” Powers cracked a grin which you could continue to catch glimpses of throughout the night. While sometimes shows in Orange County can feel like just an extra stop on a tour for bands to make a few extra bucks, Youth Lagoon brought their ambient tunes with full force and seemed pleased to do it.
From Austin, Texas, Pure X brought a touch of billowing noise pop to open up the night.