Young Empires w/ Banners
@ The Mod Club Theatre, Toronto
February 27th, 2016
“Lots of sexy people here!” proclaimed Matthew Vlahovich, lead singer of Young Empires during the group’s set at the intimate Mod Club on Toronto, Ontario.
There were certainly a lot of great looking people milling about during the cocktail party-like atmosphere that night. Lots of hugs and smiles under the chandeliers and blue, purple and green lights. Even opening act BANNERS (Michael Joseph Nelson) got in on the schmoozing, taking photos with numerous crowd members as people awaited Young Empires to hit the stage.
When the stage lights darkened, the crowd erupted into a cheer as the Toronto-based group emerged all adorned in black, silhouetted by pulsating floor lights. Young Empires’ opening song, “Ghosts” reverberated through the club, the bass shaking the floor as if the engines of a rocket ship were preparing for takeoff. It was a bold, majestic presentation of one of the group’s songs off of The Gates album. Young Empires was prepared to whisk us all away and take everyone to their very own musical galaxy.
Fittingly, after a quick acknowledgement of being back home, the group quickly launched into “Enter Through The Sun”, a high-energy piece that started to get the laid back audience dancing, nodding their heads to the music and following the instructions of putting their hands in the air.
Although some of the lighting simulated spinning among the stars, there was no doubt of the Latin influence found within Young Empires’ self-declared “haute rock” compositions, such as when “Rain of Gold” was performed.
While the five-piece danced and bounced on stage, clearly working in a groove, the best received song from the crowd was reserved for “Uncover Your Eyes”, again off The Gates album.
Breakout song, “White Doves” was given a harder, fuzzy treatment, almost enticing the club to march and chant alongside Vlahovich.
The voyage ended with “The Gates”, which bassist Jacob Palahuk noted was the first and most important song thematically for the album with the same name. It was a safe and wonderful escape….except for those continuing on with the afterparty.
Young Empires continues their tour with stops in New York City, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Los Angeles and Austin before returning back to Canada to play in Ottawa during the month of June.
– Patrick Li
(Photography by Greg Kieszkowski)