I WAS THERE . . . Youth Group @ Piano’s, 4.7.09

Photos by Paul Kim

Made famous by their remake of “Forever Young,” Australian indie rock band Youth Group is now one of two bands (the other is Rulet), which have established a residency at Piano’s on the Lower East Side (actually a tri-city residency for Youth Group which includes Boston and Philadelphia), which means you can see them perform every Tuesday night at 10 PM for $8, along with three other varying bands until April 28th, after which they begin their regular U.S. tour. With their recent fourth album release This Night is Ours, Youth Group is slowly climbing into the limelight, first gaining recognition with “Forever Young” appearing on the television series, “The OC.”

Piano’s has always been one of my favorite venues for everything– it has a great bar with a nice selection of draft beers and liquors, above average bar fare at a very affordable price, a great mix of people that is predominantly Indie Hipster but a smaller part everything else, a DJ upstairs, and live music or comedy in the back room, where Youth Group performs. Like most bands, Youth Group’s live performance pretty much equaled their album sound – so whatever you feel when you hear their album, you’ll likely feel the same thing when you hear them live – I’m just a little better than ambivalent towards their album, and their live performance did little to change this. However, it’s also impossible to complain about the convenience of a weekly performance in the Lower East Side, and the value of the $8 cover charge for seeing several bands play live.

Lead singer Toby Martin (pictured) has a voice that fluctuates between a small part Morrissey and possibly Matthew Sweet or Pavement. A strong disclaimer I have about the venue is to wear ear plugs – the room is very small and it was extremely loud given the size of the room – both my friend and I did not wear ear plugs and came out of the concert with our ears ringing. So, in conclusion, go out and catch Youth Group at Pianos on Tuesday (until April 28th) if you are already a fan or even the slightest bit curious.

Paul Kim

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