No “Weakdays” Ahead For Newcomers Young & Divine

Young & Divine
Reggie’s Rock Club – Chicago, IL
July 8, 2010

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If the first two “performances” (more like nightmares) at Reggie’s Rock Club this past Thursday were any indication of what to expect from the third band to take the stage (who I was there to see), then the up-and-coming trio of Young & Divine (RCA) were in big trouble and headed nowhere. What a relief it was when I discovered that Young & Divine was the black sheep thrown into the mix of the evening’s diverse lineup.

Read more of our live review of the Young & Divine concert and see the set list after the jump…

Young & Divine Chicago

Set List / Chicago

Nicole Deserved It
Bleu Shift
Nice Party
Shake That Bubble

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Other than a poor match-up of touring bandmates, there was only one other complaint of this otherwise stellar and surprisingly impressive performance: the lighting. Yes girls, the guys comprising Young & Divine are cute. But with a lack of spotlights (or any lights aimed at the stage), you could not make out what the boys looked like. Basic traits such as height and body build were evident. Facial expressions and features? Not so much. The special effects relied heavily on green lasers shooting out into the crowd from behind the band. A couple of spotlights could have made the tiny venue, stage, and most importantly, the band pop. An illuminated stage with well-lit performers would have given Young & Divine a more professional presentation to the audience. After all, if you are going to be a performer as your chosen occupation, you must be ready to show your face to the world. Every night.

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The driving force behind the eight-song set had nothing to do with what you could see, but what you could hear. With an alternative pop/punk/rock sound similar to Blink-182 and Panic! At The Disco combined, lead singer and songwriter JP Clark scores with his catchy lyrics, tunes, and successful fusion of true punk-rock melodies and musicality. Clark’s voice is reminiscent of Angels & Airwaves/Blink-182 frontman Tom DeLonge, which only makes me like Clark that much more.

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The energy and excitement leaked from the stage into the audience, was suspended for awhile, and then seemed to surge and captivate the crowd toward the end of Young & Divine’s opening set. Slowly but surely, everyone was eventually on their feet, inching closer to the stage as they became more familiar with the band’s personality and showmanship. Fans were dancing along during the highlight of the show: final song “Shake That Bubble.” It was by far the catchiest tune in the band’s live repertoire and has the potential to score the much desired radio airplay that all baby bands hope for and dream of. Young & Divine have the whole package, starting with the basic element: good songs. Now all they need to improve their live performance is a lighting director on tour with them to make sure each venue presents the guys to current and future fans in their true light.

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Young & Divine consists of JP Clark (rhythm guitar, lead vocals), Joseph Bortscheller (drums), and Jake Mai (lead guitar, backing vocals). Joining the trio for their current 24-city tour across the States is Eddy on bass. Young & Divine are currently promoting their recently released debut self-titled five-track EP Young & Divine (bonus track included on the physical copy of the EP, but not available digitally).

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Unfortunately, Young & Divine missed the final deadline that would have let them join the lineup for this year’s Vans Warped Tour (though they clearly belong on it). However, this means the guys are coming back to Chicago on their own in August. I would love to see all of you “shaking those bubbles” at the next Young & Divine concert in Chitown. Be sure to check dates, times, and venues for your city in order to check them out when the band plays near you!

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Written by Kate Jacobsen
Photographed by Jennifer Boyer

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