Young Fathers made a triumphant return to Dallas this past Saturday at Trees. On the heels of winning The Mercury award for their album Dead and the release of their new album White Men Are Black Men Too, the Scottish trio were bustling with so much confidence and energy it was infectious. Accompanied by Dallas’s very own Buffalo Black and Canada’s Mas Ysa, the three acts made sure to have Trees going up like it was Tuesday.
With the rain on Saturday slowing down Elm street into a soaked mess, Buffalo Black was the first to take the stage. Performing to relatively empty venue, Buffalo does well to get the crowd engaged into his performance. After a little bit of stage banter with the crowd, his performance finally begins. Immediately, an unsuspecting audience is rattled to their core by a devastating bass. Buffalo did his best to keep energy levels high with his lively movements on stage and high-tempo flow. Although suffering from a few mishaps on stage, He did well to recover without allowing the energy levels to ebb.
Mas Ysa slowed things down with an intimate performance. He captivated us with grand synths that left the everyone hypnotized. Mas Ysa’s powerful and angst-ridden vocals helped create an atmosphere of intimacy and vulnerability. Segments of drone and ambience left us entranced while simultaneously enticing us with suspenseful build-ups for the next song. Mas Ysa created a dream-like atmosphere leaving all in attendance in an endless smooth groove.
A drummer stood alone on stage banging a bass drum like his life depended on it giving way for a grand entrance for Young Fathers, which prepared everyone for the intense evening they had in store.
Young Fathers kept the tempo low for their first songs but that quickly changed once they performed “Queen Is Dead”. Things quickly picked up from there. The Scottish trio had the audience trying to keep up with their high tempo performance. We were endlessly barraged with scintillating rhythms and crashing drums, leaving everyone helpless to do anything besides dance. Even with their high-energy performance, Young Fathers still made way for moments of intimacy with performances of songs like “Low” and “Only Child”. Alloysious and Kayus made sure to show off their impressive dance moves throughout the show to which the audience couldn’t help but applaud. Surprisingly, Young Fathers didn’t play many songs off their newest album White Men Are Black Men Too, not playing any until the second half of their set. “G” took a moment prior to performing the song “Shame” to ask, “Do you want to dance?” Nobody in the crowd could help but answer yes once the song began. As they did the first time here in Dallas, Young Fathers ended things on an intimate note, closing out their set with “I Heard”. Alloysious made sure to show the audience the extent of dancing prowess, which was an absolute joy to watch.
Young Fathers, Mas Ysa, and Buffalo Black made sure to make all who did not attend envious of what they missed. A mix of high intensity and intimate performances created an atmosphere that engulfed the audience in dance, happiness, and little bit sadness. Sadness attributed to fact that it was over, for it was performance worthy of living through over and over again.