When we last checked in with Seattle’s The Young Evils, we were in rainy Wisconsin for PJ20 and they were opening for bands like Pearl Jam, Queens of the Stone Age, The Strokes, Liam Finn, Joseph Arthur and others. At the time they were a relatively new band, at least to the masses, the quintet showed lots of promise in their brief set and were charming and fun during our time behind the scenes with them. Over the past month, the quintet embarked on their first large-scale tour, starting in their native Seattle, moving down across the country, highlighted by numerous SXSW gigs and culminating in multiple California stops.
Having never played in California, The Young Evils drew a remarkably strong crowd at their Los Angeles gig at the Hotel Café in Hollywood. Over the course of their early (8 pm) set time, what started out as people who were intrigued by the band’s brand of post-grunge rock.
Led by singer Mackenzie Mercer and singer/guitarist Troy Nelson, the half hour set felt way too short. The duo played off each other well and had people bobbing their heads along to their catchy tunes. Though most of the songs are pretty heavy (kick some serious ass) and a distinct Seattle darkness to them, there were moments, especially on the new ones, where their work with producer Shane Stoneback (Cults, Vampire Weekend) shows how their sound has evolved a few short months. In is a more honed lo-fi, indie vibe that not only translates well, but also can help introduce the band to a larger following.
Drummer Faustine Hudson’s tenacious drumming along with Michael Lee’s thunderous bass lines and Cody Hurd’s sharp grooves laid the foundation for the band’s impressive sound. The power of this trio can’t be understated as their functionality and familiarity with each other allowed for Mercer and Nelson to show their chops as the front man and woman of the group.
The Hotel Café can be a difficult place for a quintet to perform because of its small stage, but the Evils managed to overcome the cramped quarters and moved around (albeit gingerly) and their energy had people dancing while trying not to spill their drinks. It was a mix of industry insiders, fans and
The group wasn’t intimidated by their maiden voyage to the City of Angels and they were well received by those who in attendance. The Young Evils have shown a lot of growth in a short period time and are going to be band to check out. If the new songs from their EP are an indication of what’s to come, the band could be one of the better new bands to come from the Emerald City in some time.