Hannes Norrvide’s gloomy dance project, Lust for Youth played their first US show last week at the place where almost every dark electro-driven act plays their first US show, everyone’s favorite black-draped smoked-filled deathtrap, Wierd. For better or worse, nothing works quite like a whisper of Copenhagen to fill a room. Collaborator and live member Loke Rahbek provided this whisper. Rahbek is most widely known as a member of VÅR who unsurprisingly made their live debut also at Wierd, but he is also the driving force behind the label Posh Isolation and served as vocalist for the Youth Attack band Sexdrome. Add Gothenburg, Sacred Bones, and an American reissue of the bleak yet danceable LP Growing Seeds to the current Copenhagen fever and you’ve got the recipe for a very successful Wednesday, despite the over proliferation of Oak-wearing PR dorks. Hey, as long as admirably enthusiastic, yet discriminating show fixture Jesse Gasface is there, posing for pictures with e-cigarette smoking Europeans and buying cassette tapes, you know you’re in the right place.
Lust for Youth played a solid set. It’s nice to see a live performance of this nature go on so seamlessly. The crowd was very receptive, dancing through every track. A particularly enthusiastic dude swilling whiskey from a bottle in a black plastic bag was moving like he was on a steady roll. It seemed like a bit of Lust for Youth’s innate bleakness was lost on the crowd, many of who seemed there to party and see one of the key ingredients of a next big thing. I noticed the same thing with VÅR, but Hannes has a stoicism that’s more sensitive and thoughtful than VÅR’s steely aggression. Then again, packed live shows in basements don’t allow a lot of room for the absorption of emotional subtlety, but the point wasn’t lost on everyone.
On a side note, I recently lauded the disbanding of the dreaded Witchhousian interlopers at Wierd but there’s nothing like two porcelain faced Scandinavians to bring out the second wave of Ecstasy-popping, dance-hungry, power fashion PR community, who may have retired from Witchhouse, but recognize faux runes are still a thing. I don’t know what’s worse, that a contestant from the most recent season of Project Runway was there, or the fact that I recognized a contestant from the most recent season of Project Runway. What can I say? I’m just as loyal with my television selections as I am with my weekly excursions into the smoke-filled abyss. I kept my eye rolls at a minimum until heard someone say, “I’ve never seen a disco ball at a goth club before.”
First off, if you’ve never seen a disco ball at a goth club then you’ve probably never been to a goth club. Second of all Home Sweet Home is not a goth club and Wierd is not a goth night. But when you throw on the good old smoke machine, a moody light show, and fill the place with sullen sexy synth nerds and noise dudes with severe haircuts then I guess you can fool the squares. Note to interlopers, synth, industrial, and noise folk get super annoyed when you confuse them for their teary-eyed cousins, the goths. Then again the trio of septum ring adored college girls in the front with stars in their eyes instead of tears probably wouldn’t have minded the goth reference at all, and that’s fine. They are the future just as much as the clean cut Scandinavians who graced the stage.
Lust For Youth are also playing Saturday December 21 in Pioneertown, CA at Pappy and Harriet’s as part of the Sacred Bones Records Five Year Anniversary Celebration.