Tuesday 2 November 2010

Yeasayer Enlightens Melkweg

It's been hard to miss Yeasayer this year. The band from Brooklyn played lots of festivals and several club shows as well over here in the low lands. And for a reason: their latest album is very successful and their festival shows got positive reviews including mine. So I was really looking forward to their club show in the Melkweg last Friday.

Yeasayer at Melkweg Amsterdam, October 29 2010 (Ronald Says 8 out of 10)
The stage looks familiar as it shows the same setup as the festival shows. The keyboards, samplers and other electronics are placed on square lit pillars that can change colours. When the venue lights dim they start to glow red while the band members make their appearance. During the show they are bathing in the changing colours.

This is characteristic for their show. Their music consists of several layers with many percussion elements, samples and tasteful use of electronic effects. It's what colours their music. The live versions of their songs are different than the album versions which give them an added value. Singer Chris Keating seems to be more lively on stage as is the rest of the band compared to a few months ago. He is moving around to play some percussion either with percussionist Ahmed Gallab or drummer Jason Trammell or on his own instrument. Bass player Ira Wolf Tuton and guitarist/singer Anand Wilder sometimes leave their spot on the right and left side to face Tramell or join Keating. They are really playing together as a band and it looks like they are all feeling relaxed and enjoying the gig.

There isn't a lot of interaction with the audience besides the occasional "thank you's" and "I love this place". Besides maybe more uptempo songs like 'O.N.E.' or 'Wait for the Summer' most of their songs aren't exactly gonna turn the crowd into a bouncing sweaty mass going mental. Nevertheless there's a good atmosphere in the venue tonight and the band sounds tight and convincing. I find that somehow they sound better live than on their albums that doze off on some points.

After a short hour they leave the stage and when they come back play a few more songs as an encore. Still it feels like a short performance and they could have added a few more songs. But it was a strong performance and they have shown that they are making progress because of playing many live shows. This is good news for the future.

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