YOUNG GALAXY at Lee's Palace, Friday, May 30. Rating: NNN
In the years since their 2007 self-titled debut, Young Galaxy's sound has become more and more electronically focussed, thanks in part to the influence of Swedish producer Dan Lissvik. For their live show, though, they're still framing it around a more conventional guitar-driven rock line up, with a laptop filling in the synthetic elements that are better played by machines.
The problem with backing tracks is that there's always a bit of a karaoke feel, and a sense that the band is just playing along to the laptop. It took a few songs for Young Galaxy to loosen up, but paradoxically it wasn't until they started playing their more overtly electronic material and began tweaking knobs and jamming with the sequenced elements that it started feeling more natural and organic.
Once they found that groove, they had no trouble hypnotizing the crowd with their shimmering dream pop, and even inspired some gentle pogoing in the crowd during the more upbeat moments (not a minor feat for a band this ethereal).