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Thursday night, Justin Young and his band The Vaccines took the Fonda Theatre by storm. Young boasted to the sold out venue that this is the group’s first headlining tour. Rocking the long, flowing locks and Canadian tuxedos, these guys sure have come a long way from their standard upbringing in West London. After spending the days prior to their Los Angeles stop in the Midwest, Young jokingly admitted, “It feels like we really made it!”
The Vaccines have previously been compared to the likeness of The Ramones, The Strokes, Interpol, and even The Smiths. The sold out venue was the perfect setting for a Valentines treat from them, whether you came by yourself or with a date. Certainly, Beyoncé is a tough act to follow, but the boys had no shame in ironically blasting her song “Single Ladies” as they approached the stage. They did not waste any time jamming through “No Hope” and “Wrecking Bar (Ra Ra Ra),” inciting a major frenzy on the dance floor.
The killer bass and drum combos thrust them from song to song. Without a doubt, the strongest songs of the night were “Ghost Town” and “Post Break-Up Sex.” Unfortunately, it was all downhill from there.
One thing about The Vaccines frontman Young – his voice is honest. After a few challenging post vocal hemorrhage procedures in 2011, he still finds a way to deliver a relatively strong show. Perhaps a shorter set list would have accommodated his voice’s shortcomings, however. By the last few songs of the set, it seemed as if the voice had been squeezed out of him. He mouthed words for the entirety of “I Always Knew,” letting the crowd do the singing for him. Luckily, what he lacked in voice capability he made up for with energetic performing, bouncing and swaying to the songs with a steady bobbing motion in the likeness of Dave Grohl. Wild head banging peppered in between songs kept his presence engaging. Young salvaged the end of the show with a powerful three-song encore playing into the hearts of the die-hard fans who literally erupted into a mosh pit for “Bad Mood” and “Norgaard.”
All in all, The Vaccines delivered a lively, fun performance. This was definitely the best option for what to do on Valentine’s Day in LA.
Wreckin Bar (Ra Ra Ra)
A Lack of Understanding
Under Your Thumb
Post Break-Up Sex
All in White
Change of Heart Pt. 2
Blow It Up
I Always Knew
If You Wanna