LIVE PREVIEW: Youth Lagoon w/ Moon King at Turner Hall Ballroom – Oct. 20

Youth Lagoon w/ Moon King | Turner Hall Ballroom | Tuesday, Oct. 20 | Tickets: $14 Available Here

Milwaukee has seen the highs and lows of Youth Lagoon’s live shows. The critically acclaimed creative vehicle of Boise-native Trevor Powers, Youth Lagoon’s Milwaukee/Turner Hall Ballroom debut in the spring of 2012 was shaky to say the least, with the singer performing a shockingly low-energy and short set, due to a self-described “illness.”

A year and a half later, Youth Lagoon was brought back to Milwaukee, and more than made up for past mistakes, delivering an amazingly boisterous show at Pabst Theater in 2013 that was as loud, energetic and frantic. Touring in support of his sophomore album, Wondrous Bughouse, the show was as powerful and boisterous as the album led listeners on; a redefinition of Youth Lagoon’s sound compared to the fantastic 2011 debut, The Year of Hibernation. Powers admitted he hoped to make up for 2012’s Turner Hall performance with his show at The Pabst, and with the vigor and intensity he brought to the stage that night (along with three accompanying bandmates), he undoubtedly delivered.

Next week, Youth Lagoon will take the Turner Hall Ballroom stage again, giving Milwaukee another glimpse into the brain of Trevor Powers, who has seemingly reinvented himself. YL’s third album, Savage Hills Ballroom, was released late last month, almost four years to the day of his debut. All of the promotional materials for Savage Hills Ballroom show Powers looking more glam-rock than indie-pop shut-in, an image that serves as an accurate reflection of Savage Hills‘ soundscapes: the album features driving horn sections and the clearest recording of vocals we’ve heard from Powers thus far. But make no mistake, Trevor Powers is a pop music wunderkind, and somehow, despite all of the critical acclaim since 2011’s Hibernation, he continues to slip under the radar. Powers creates beautiful lyrics, writing from experience and creating incredibly visceral art in the process. Check out his video for Savage Hills Ballroom highlight, “Highway Patrol Stun Gun” above (and an introspective interview with The FADER here).

Moon King | Credit: Ewan Kay
Moon King | Credit: Ewan Kay

Youth Lagoon have consistently brought out stellar support acts in their previous tours, (Porcelain Raft in 2012, Pure X in 2013), and 2015’s support has the chance to be their best yet; opening for Youth Lagoon on Tuesday night will be Canadian duo Moon King. Aside from supporting the current Youth Lagoon tour, the duo, consisting of Daniel Benjamin and Maddy Wilde, has toured the globe with acts like Alvvays, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Majical Cloudz and plenty of others (Benjamin has also performed with Grimes and Doldrums).

Moon King released two EPs (Obsession I, Obsession II) on Fucked Up guitarist Mike Haliechuk’s label, One Big Silence. Their debut full length, Secret Life, came out earlier this year on Last Gang Records, and ever since, the group has been picking up plenty of buzz from the likes of The FADER and Pitchfork. This Friday, the group will celebrate their tour with Youth Lagoon with the release of a special edition EP, Vida Eterna, limited to only 300 copies.

Moon King create psychedelic and pop-influenced music with lyrically emotional themes, making them an ample choice to prime the crowd for Trevor Powers and company on Tuesday. Like Youth Lagoon at times, Moon King’s lyrics may be somber and isolating, but the instrumentations are inviting and easy to get wrapped up in. Check out the video for their single “Roswell” below, and get familiar with their material before Tuesday night, this is a double bill that’s worth coming out early for.