Youngblood Hawke and Capital Cities rock downtown

Capital CitiesOn June 6, Humpy’s Big Spawn concert series kicked off with local act Turquoise Boy, followed by Los Angeles-based Youngblood Hawke and then the headline act, Capital Cities. The concert that took over an entire block of F Street had people of all ages dancing and having an all-around good time.

The sound of Youngblood Hawke had concertgoers nodding their heads and tapping their feet along with the songs. Even those who are fairly new to Youngblood Hawke were catching on to the lyrics and singing their songs before too long. Youngblood Hawke, a relatively new indie pop group formed in 2011, have been gaining quite a bit of notoriety since.

Most known for their song “We Come Running,” Youngblood Hawke played before Capital Cities getting the crowd warmed up for quite the performance by Capital Cities, but Youngblood Hawke still gave a great show as well. There were mumblings in the crowd of how they were now fans of Youngblood Hawke. There was mumblings in the crowd of how attendees were new found fans of Youngblood Hawke.

Their songs have catchy beats and choruses, with lyrics like, “Wake up Danny boy, there’s a world outside/a world outside your window,” The band has gotten great reviews for their live performances also. The crowd at the Big Spawn concert seemed to think the same, giving them a raucous applause at the end of each song. In a Vevo News interview with the band, a couple of the band members spoke about their live performances and what they want out of them.

“I think performing is probably all our favorite aspects of this. It’s our chance to kind of bring the songs to life — really put on an amazing show for people. It’s really energetic. We all play percussion. We all play multiple instruments,” Sam Martin said.

“We all kind of disappear into a coma while we’re playing and then we come back out and we’re like what just happened?” Simon Katz added.

“We leave it all on the stage. We give it our all every time,” Sam Martin continued.

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After Youngblood Hawke went into their performance “coma,” Capital Cities came on for a very crowd-pleasing and interactive show. Capital Cities had the crowd doing the so-called “Capital Cities Shuffle” shortly after coming on. The shuffle had those in audience taking a step to the right, clapping once, shuffling back over to the left and then clapping twice. In addition to their shuffle, Capital Cities got the crowd clapping to the beat, doing hand movements, jumping up and down, tossing beach balls through the crowd, as well as having the audience members take T-shirts they bought at the show — or the ones they were wearing, if they were brave — and put it up above their heads and swing it around in circles.

“I thought it was a good show and nice venue. … I had a blast. All three of the bands were great,” said former UAA student Cody Herron-Webb. Herron-Webb wasn’t the only one enjoying the concert either.

“The concert was amazing. The music was everything I had hoped it would be! The venue and weather were good, but Capital Cities made the night,” said John Buckendahl Jr., a political science major at UAA.

The band, in addition to playing their own songs played a few covers, such as “Holiday” and “Staying Alive.” Despite doing a cover of the song “Staying Alive,” Capital Cities put on a new more modern twist to the song that appealed to both the older audience and younger audience.

While the two main members and founders of Capital Cities are Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simononian there were two additional members that tour with them, bassist Manuel Quintero and trumpeter Spencer Ludwig.  Ludwig played the trumpet with soul and passion all while dancing. The crowd cheered him on at the end of all his big solos and were all reaching to touch him when he walked through the center of the crowd during one of the final songs.

“I thought they were great! They were really good with the crowd and I loved the fact that they had a trumpet player. It was a lot of fun and they sounded awesome!” said UAA biology major Autumn Sperry.

Anyone in attendance at the concert could tell that the crowd really enjoyed Capital Cities. They received a very welcoming and excited reception to all their songs and everything they had to say. Simonian made a point to thank everyone there for attending and for being so supportive.