Show Review: Yeasayer @ Stubbs (9/6)

When I first heard Fragrant World, the newest record from Yeasayer, I wondered if it would be as impressive as Odd Blood.  It took me a few spins, but eventually, I found it’s progression and warmth more than enjoyable, so I was really looking forward to their live presentation of the new material at Stubb’s on Thursday night.

Read on for my thoughts on the evening, and the great photo set of B. Gray.

Daedalus opened up the evening, and while I can appreciate that he labors over his blend of electronic music, I found it less than interesting in the live setting.  Admittedly, he doesn’t communicate much with the audience, focusing on the twists and turns in his music, but that completely left me disinterested. If you’re going to stand around and play on your lap-top or electronic turntable, you’ve got to do something incredible, and unfortunately, I just can’t say that about the opener.

However, once Yeasayer took the stage, all that was forgotten.  Backed by an impressive lighting rig, they came out energized, ready to take over the packed Austin crowd.  I loved the drum set up, though I have a slight inkling that some tracks might have been pre-programmed on there–still I like a drummer that stands up and jams it out.  Each change in color really seemed to emphasize the music itself, which really goes along with the fact that these guys hold their art to the highest esteem.

As far as the music goes, they went all over their three records, with the majority of the tunes coming from the latter two releases.  Crowd response seemed to be the biggest for songs like “Ambling Alp” and especially “Madder Red,” but that’s got to do with familiarity, as I think there are equal amounts of catchy hooks on Fragrant World.  But, as close as the group was to replicating their sound in the live setting, I sort of felt that at times, the set was uneven.  I get that the group’s not all powerful beats and loops, in fact that’s one of the reasons I really love these guys. Still, at times I wanted things to hit harder than they did, perhaps come off just a bit sharper.  The softness in their tunes often created a brief lull, and it sometimes took an entire song to rebuild that energy up.  When they did, we were all having a blast right alongside the band.  It was a good show with a good live performance…a few tweaks and it would have been a great show.

There are plenty more pics at the photo site

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