From Los Angeles to Austin, Letting Up Despite Great Faults have been making a name for themselves since frontman Mike Lee and bassist Kent Zambrana completed the band by adding drummer Daniel Schmidt and vocalist/keyboardist Annah Fisette. The band makes electronic dream-pop that has a sort of Ben Gibbard twist to it.
The foursome opened up for Youngblood Hawke this past Friday at The Parish. The venue was a great match for LUDGF; their dreamy tunes can be much more appreciated in intimate settings. Having spent a week or so streaming their music on Spotify, my hopes were high for their set. It’s always either a hit or a fail when you hear a band for the first time live and LUDGF was spot on.
Lee and Fisette’s hushed, breathy vocals were just as alluring as when I heard it through my headphones. Zambrana’s energy throughout each song was unbelievable and he had people excited; regardless if they were fans of LUDGF or not. Their music has this nostalgic hint that made the crowd slip into somewhat of a daydreaming mode but before anyone could nod off, the band would revive everyone with a loud, but still dreamy, track with heavy keys and synths in upbeat tempos. Overall, LUDGF put on a set that made many anxious to see what else they had in their repertoire.
Youngblood Hawke knows how to make an entrance. A very loud entrance, at that. Just like the last three times I got to see YBH, they all came out and began their usual drumming ritual. The band members beat whatever drum they could reach in unison. They immediately jumped into their first song, “Rootless.” This tour is a big step for this LA-based band considering that it is in support of their debut full-length album Wake Up that was released on April 23.
YBH as a whole always puts on an energetic, plain fun show. If people in the crowd weren’t familiar with the music, it didn’t matter because they never stopped moving to the beat. It’s crazy to see the amount of energy that frontman Sam Martin musters as he belts out their lyrics. “We Come Running” may be their most popular song right now but not for long. Tracks like “Stars,” “Glaciers” and “Dannyboy” are definite contenders for their next hit single.
Chemistry between band members is needed for a great set and YBH had it down. Martin made sure to thank the crowd for making it out to see them.
“This is the first night of a month and a half tour and we’re happy to spend it with you,” said Martin. Everyone in the crowd cheered crazily and the band wrapped up the show, only to return for a three-song encore. Their acoustic rendition of “Sleepless Streets” was so on point and brought the energy down just enough to get it back up again in time to close with “Forever” and “Glacier.”
YBH is a whole lot of pop but definitely on the good side of that genre. Things are only looking up from here for these guys.