Youngblood Hawke played the Warfield with such a potent sound last Friday night I’m still feeling pops of energy as I write about it today. Falling in love with their main single, “We Come Running,” several months back I have long since added “Forever and Stars” to my regular playlist. Coming out of this show, I’m on the hunt to add the rest of their work, a great young collection of tunes that vividly stick in my ears without any nasty pop aftertaste, to my lists moving forward.
Rousing the Warfield was no small feat for two reasons. They played to a house full of Keane fans and suffered a horrible lighting show. What an unusual juxtaposition: the impassioned indie rock sound of Youngblood and the balladic, almost Christian rock, sound of Keane. And the lights! While the production stepped up for the headlining Keane, this is the second time I’ve seen an opener get the short stick with lights at the Warfield. Massive black mark on the venue in my book.
Sam Martin, the shaggy haired lead singer, shook off the ill-placed lights and roamed the stage for the shows entirety. Settling only to battle the keyboard or pound on the drums, his restless energy was contagious. Discovering a pocket of true fans halfway through the show, Sam strode to the edge of stage to serenade them with the hit track “We Come Running.” Completely outside the light it was a wonderful moment of musician and fans making music and enjoying it in sync.
This young band was far from polished, especially compared to headliners like Keane or Passion Pit, whom they previously toured with, but the power of their music that night makes it quite clear they will soon outgrow this disheveled state and come into their own as a hot new act.
I’ll be championing them the whole way.