Yukon Blonde at Hollywood Theatre

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The kickoff to Vancouver’s grooviest Indie Rock band took place on a fittingly moody Thursday evening. As blaring city lights were dimmed by a settling fog, folks dressed up to jive and dance floated their way into the Hollywood theater; an Art Deco oasis perfectly befitting the smooth tones of Yukon Blonde.

The night opened with a real local treat, Vancouver’s own Noble Son, a hilariously witty and charismatic musician who not only entertained the crowd with graceful guitar chords, but accompanied his musical performance with what could be compared to a stand-up comedy act. He introduced songs about ‘First Dates’ with the befitting name “Doom” and comedically began crying about merch sales whilst using an echoing voice effect. He set the tone and stage perfectly for a positive and uplifting evening of pumped-up tunes.

Yukon Blonde was warmly welcomed on stage by a crowd of fans, friends, family, and mutual musicians alike. A powerful, deep bass and kick drum warmed up the audience, crescendoing into the first song off their newest album Shuggie. The first two tunes, “Shuggie Come Back” and “Every Single Time You Fall in Love” brought fans peeling away from their cooled wall-leaning positions, limbs slowly floating along to the rhythms. Though there were a few minor feedback issues towards the beginning of the show, neither the band nor the crowd let it interfere with their enjoyment.

Other popular songs were met with great delight, “Summer in July” had heads bopping, while “Get Precious” got into the depths of everyone’s soul. I always find the biggest grin creeping up on my face when I can get a good scan of the crowd and see everyone so encompassed by the moment, arms in the air and bodies moving side-to-side. Yukon Blonde did a fantastic job of setting a tone, creating one of the grooviest concerts I’ve ever been to.

One aspect I do love about Vancouver is its interconnectedness of its musicians. Members of local bands such as Peach Pit and Said the Whale were in attendance, as well as a surprise guest performer from Babe Corner, singing onstage with the band. It was inspiring to be surrounded by such a wholesome and loving community that just wants to be together to play and experience music.

As the final songs played out, remaining patrons began to murmur of an encore, bringing the boys of Yukon Blonde back onstage. The band introduced their last batch of songs as a “Customer Appreciation Set,” here to play the songs requested by the people rather than the band’s personal faves. Their final song “Favourite People,” dedicated to what seemed to be a friend or managerial member of the band who had just turned 40, joined the band on stage for a quick dance session as they played themselves out.

For a random Thursday night in the middle of January, Yukon Blonde pulled in an energetic, loving and friendly crowd. Scanning the Hollywood, you could easily see the warmth radiating from every person there, the amiable tunes from the group filling the eveningwith bright colours, big smiles, and a pleasantly sunny transition home into the fog-filled streets of Vancouver.

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