Yeasayer @ Club Sound

Posted May 4, 2010 in
Club Sound
with Sleigh Bells

I remember seeing Yeasayer at Kilby Court two years ago, as the opening act for MGMT. Back then their self-applied genre, Middle Eastern-psych-snap-gospel, still fit. Times have changed. Yeasayer is headlining these days, playing to people who probably know nothing of Man Man (the last band Yeasayer toured with, and opened for).

Yeasayer have always used synths, samplers and drum machines, but it seems they have found some new synth voices. If you're not familiar with both of their albums, I think it is fair to call them radically different. They have let their Middle Eastern psychedlic sound fall to the wayside and are pounding out synthpop like they just got their first Of Montreal album (probably Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?).

It was weird seeing Yeasayer play pop songs, and have people singing along in great numbers. The show was packed (it was in the smaller room, Club Sound, at In the Venue) and people were stoked. Their set up included huge LED wall panels and LED podiums for their synths, all alternating colors. It was very eighties, and a lot of the new music matched the décor (a few of the songs sounded like Men at Work composed a soundtrack for a Bollywood film). The lead singer's stage presence hasn't changed much, he commands the stage with hand gestures that suggest he is a fan of William Shatner's spoken word. He still couldn't hit some of the notes on the older songs live, which wasn't an issue since they only played three old songs.

I was slightly disappointed not to hear "Wintertime" "Germs" or "No Need To Worry" but I guess it wouldn't fit in with the dance party they brought to the stage. They closed with "Sunrise", which surprised and worried me. I was sure they would close with "Ambling Alp" and once they played that I thought they were going to pull a Billy Joel and not play my favorite song. When they finally got around to playing it, the lead singer forgot a verse and fucking stammered his way through half of the song, ending a good show on a disappointing note (a note the lead singer had trouble hitting).