From openers to headliners, Young Bombs are growing up

Tristan Norton and Martin Kottmeier play Intrigue on October 12 and 19.
Photo: Jens Kristian Balle / Courtesy
Jason R. Latham

Tristan Norton and Martin Kottmeier remember the moment everything changed, when they realized they’d never have to fall back on the 9-to-5 lifestyle—not that they were ever 9-to-5 guys.

“We were opening for The Chainsmokers at New City Gas in Montreal. It was massive, you can’t see where the crowd ends,” Norton says. “Martin and I were just about to go on—the guy says ‘You’re on in five’—and we just start chugging vodkas and Red Bulls. Martin grabbed the mic and said, ‘Montreal, how the f*ck are you doing?’ and we looked at each other like, ‘This is what we’re gonna do for the rest of our lives.’”

At the time, the Vancouver-based dance pair collectively known as Young Bombs had just begun to expand beyond their roles as studio producers to stage DJs. In 2016, they got their first taste of Las Vegas, opening, again, for The Chainsmokers at Hakkasan.

“After [the show] at Hakkasan, [The Chainsmokers’] Alex Pall was leaving and I football-tackled him into the ground,” Norton says. “We were just way too excited, and then we went up to his room and sang emo pop-punk songs from the early-2000s for a half-hour.”

In the two years since, Young Bombs have graduated from opening act to headliner, with starring roles at last month’s Life Is Beautiful festival and a reputation buoyed by popular remixes of Lady Gaga, Selena Gomez, Connor Phillips and, most recently, Weezer.

“Life Is Beautiful was our first time playing the [“Say It Ain’t So”] remix,” Kottmeier says. “Early-’90s Weezer is huge for us. We wanted to do something that represented music we grew up on. We didn’t have an intention on releasing it, we just made it for fun.”

If you missed Young Bombs at LIB, you’re promised a taste of “Say It Ain’t So” and more when Norton and Kottmeier take over Wynn’s Intrigue Nightclub on October 12 and 19.

Club shows, Norton explains, are an opportunity to showcase mashups, remixes and “all the fun moments we put into our festival show,” -with added emphasis on reading the crowd, because everything is “up close and personal.”

Adds Kottmeier: “When you play a club, people are kind of there to be seen, so you’ve got to loosen them up, versus a festival where the kids are ready from the get go.”

YOUNG BOMBS October 12 & 19, 10:30 p.m., $35-$45. Intrigue, 702-770-7300.

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