Live Review: King Youngblood

The Crocodile  Seattle, WA. 

Contact: [email protected]

Web: kingyoungblood.com/ 

Players: Cameron Miles Lavi-Jones, vocals, guitar; Samy Garcia, bass; Chet Peterson, cello; Paul “Sticks” Stoot, drums.  

Material: Seattle-based King Youngblood is a hard-edged rock band that blends fierce guitar riffs and in-your-face vocals (Living Colour, “Cult of Personality”) with robust melodic choruses (System of a Down, “Aerials”). Their set at the Black & Loud Fest featuring black-led bands, co-founded by King Youngblood’s Lavi-Jones and Down North’s Anthony Briscoe, showcased Youngblood’s skill in bringing music-based activism to Seattle. The band’s lyrics serve as a platform to examine socially conscious topics—violence and discrimination toward marginalized communities—but also explore more prosaic themes, navigating personal growth in an ever-evolving world.

Musicianship: King Youngblood’s musical technique is impressive. Lead singer and guitarist Lavi-Jones pushed his vocals from guttural grit to alt-crooning in “Big Thank,” while his emotive guitar sounds embodied early John Frusciante tonalities. Drummer Paul Stoot’s complex fills and bassist Samy Garcia’s sleek harmonics meshed well together and added creative character to the rhythm section. Amped-up cellist Chet Peterson’s brilliant melodic and harmonic string accompaniment paired well with Lavi-Jones’ guitars alongside Stoot and Garcia’s thrumming beats and basslines. Together, the four performed an energetically synchronized set. 

Performance: King Youngblood opened their show at The Crocodile with a statement of gratitude, thanking the audience for supporting the Black & Loud Fest before pounding into the punk-leaning “Yakubian Antics.” The intensity remained high for “THREAD,” the crowd pushing against the stage absorbing the energy resonating through the venue. Youngblood continued their set with the poignant “too late, too soon” and anthemic “Big Thank.” The band completed their set with the alt-rock-driven eponymic “King Youngblood” and “Heavy Handed.” Not done, the foursome added a surprise finale when Lavi-Jones brought the musicians participating in the event on stage for a freestyle rock-out. The evening culminated with the crowd diving into an impromptu mosh pit, an ending the audience won’t forget. 

Summary: King Youngblood are skillful, socially conscious musicians with a ruthless stage presence. The band’s energetic alt-rock live shows and savvy DIY multi-media marketing have helped them build a strong following in Seattle. If stars align, they’re primed to break through nationwide. Look for King Youngblood playing shows throughout the Pacific Northwest and new music soon! – Megan Perry