Young Empires Bring Dance Rock to Seattle’s Folky Tractor Tavern

The Tractor Tavern is typically the home of Seattle’s local and travelling folk and blues groups. The relatively small club has hosted acts such as Langhorne Slim and The Proclaimers. In the past few weeks, in a fit of summery surprise, the Tractor has seen psychedelic pop’s new star Mikal Cronin and Seattle’s dance-pop group The West past through.  The latest installment in the Ballard club’s rock sets was the Young Empires and Generations who filled the venue with a hyped crowd.

Young Empires (all the way from Toronto, Canada) are a self-described haute rock dance party. Seeing the band live, I can say that they definitely live up to that name; the band opened the Tractor’s evening with an energetic and dynamic set. The last time we talked to Young Empires, the band had just released its interactive Facebook video for the single “White Doves,” which Kelly Knapp got the chance to talk to guitarist Aaron Ellingson about.

As another milestone, the last time the Young Empires came through Seattle they played to a crowd of three people and admitted it was one of the worst shows they’d ever had (I apologize on the city’s behalf). A year later and with a monumental interactive video to their name, Seattle welcomes the Young Empires back with a bit more hospitality. The band, which is used to the popularity that their name has garnered in their home country, is just coming into United States stardom and the live show alone deems this increased popularity fully worthy.

Each member of the group appeared to be entirely immersed in the world of their own instrument and creations, but instead of creating a static or isolated performance, the dedication that was paid to the individual instruments created a nearly tangible exactitude that replicated the band’s recorded sound to a tee. This might have resulted in a slight stiffness at times, but the overall effect was an admirable, and obvious, care for quality of sound. It can also be a danger for such a synth-driven band to deviate from the technicality that the instrument offers (it can sound a bit messy), so the cleanliness with which Young Empires executed its sound was more than appreciated.

Generationals, a New Orleans duo, headlined the night and completely deserved the reception that the audience awarded them with. If we thought that Young Empires had drawn an enthusiastic crowd, it was only capped by Generationals.

Young Empires and Generationals are continuing their tour together before Young Empires return to Canada (sadly); check out future dates here.