Youth Lagoon: Crescent Ballroom, Phoenix, AZ 4/21/13

Curled over a keyboard for the majority of his set, Idaho native Trevor Powers, a.k.a Youth Lagoon, shared songs of his life thus far at the Crescent Ballroom. Singing in a childlike voice, Powers makes sense of what it means to be 22 and feel both young and old and every age in between.

And if that sounds like a lot for one pair of thin shoulders to bear… well, it is. But Powers is managing beautifully.

Backed by a full band and on the road to promote his sophomore effort Wondrous Bughouse, Powers has been able to flesh out the sound we encountered on 2010’s The Year of Hibernation. Now in 2013, Youth Lagoon delivers a rich tapestry of sonic experience, at one moment beautifully spacing out and the next, psychedelic ghosts of early Flaming Lips floats by, without losing his touchstone of quirky do-it-yourself indie pop. And finding Wonderous Bughouse at the top of some album charts is proof that Powers’ eclectic mix of sounds is striking a chord.

The set was short coming in just under an hour, something would have appeared “uncool” with other artists, was somehow here enough.  High points included “Mute” which mesmerized the room with its tension shifting dynamics between loud/soft and clanging/orchestral.

During our brief time together, a sweet but awkward personality was revealed through Powers’ attempt at conversation with the audience. And we realize that small talk is not one of Trevor’s strong suits. And that is totally fine. When anyone at such a tender age can gather their thoughts and feelings and string them together well enough to keep us all intrigued, swaying to the music and fully present in the moment, a little untoward behavior is completely forgivable.

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