Young Love with PlayRadioPlay, Liam and Me, and Alcoholiday

Last night I caught the Young Love show at a teeny tiny venue in Tempe. The fun part about seeing bands when they’re on their way up is that you have a chance to hear them play at really intimate venues with small crowds.

The downside is being one of five people in the whole venue over the age of 29, surrounded by a sea of fifteen-year-old hipsters in their striped shirts, thick headbands, skinny rock jeans, and couture hair.

The show started with what I think was a local band called Alcoholiday. The kindest thing I can say is that their music was fun, except when there was singing. The lead singer kept saying, “We’re a dance band, so feel free to move around,” but nobody was. Not even swaying. Nope.

Liam and Me were a pretty good band and gave a good performance, so I might check out some more of their stuff. PlayRadioPlay started out strong but ended up being pretty disappointing and weird.

Throughout the night, the strangest thing was that these hipster kids would be hanging out listening to the show, and then suddenly they were on stage, part of the next band to play.

But Young Love. Ah! Let me tell you. Their music is fun and rocking and danceable, and they were the only band of the four that really seemed like they had a definitive “sound.” They seemed like a real band, and they had a good time up on stage. The lead singer, Dan Keyes, looks like Josh Hartnett (if he stopped eating for about four weeks) and sounds like what one reviewer called a cross between Justin Timberlake and Brandon Urie of Panic! At the Disco (no shock, then, that I love this band).

The drummer for Young Love was particularly talented, mastering what on the album sound like intricate programmed beats, and one of the guitarists was also really good, doing a lot of intricate fingering and picking. Even Dan rocked out on his guitar with some hair band-worthy licks in the last song (“Find a New Way”).

Their set was pretty short—only about 6 or 7 songs—but every song was fantastic.

And I bought a t-shirt that, in the words of Cake, proves I was there, that I heard of them first.

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