Competing for precious face time on a busy Saturday night, Montreal-via-Vancouver quintet Young Galaxy returned to the capital to again grace the stage of Zaphod Beeblebrox.
Playing to an already good-sized crowd, six-piece Ottawa openers Blazer pressed and plowed their way through a set of overtly pedestrian and white-bread alternative rock, highlighted by leather-gloved vocalist Marley McRae's saving-grace penchant for melody.
Locals Politique followed, riding a wave of recent positive press around their hometown and delivering the same rubbery grooves and sleek four-on-the-floor dance punk that has garnered such attention. Sadly, the four members of Politique came off surprisingly stiff and submissive, working in direct competition with their uncultivated dance-floor manifesto.
Looking poised and vigilant, Young Galaxy took the stage swathed in dazzling MGMT-inspired face paint and monk hoods. Peeking through billows of smoke, vapid stage lights and mesmerizing lasers, Stephen Ramsay's towering guitars laid down a steady sound bed for Max Henry and Catherine McCandless's dreamy keyboard/vocal nuptials, creating a prevailing and otherworldly mood.
New material from Young Galaxy's towering LP Invisible Republic, such as "Destroyer" and "Firestruck," sounded wholly detached and immediate, thanks to the band's self-obsessed stage presence and explicitly dramatic demeanour. Despite having components that come off unassuming and docile, Young Galaxy created a gratifying onstage presence, awarding listeners with a live performance that was as satisfying visually as it was aurally.