Yeasayer @ La Zona Rosa - 4.10.10
Brooklyn-based experimental-psych-pop-rock (yeah, genres are overrated) quintet Yeasayer headlined two sold-out shows at Austin's La Zona Rosa last weekend, and I was lucky enough to score tix for Saturday, the first of the two-night run. Touring in support of their recently released (February 2010) second album, Odd Blood, Yeasayer has transcended what many refer to as the "sophomore slump" by taking a different and more focused approach with this album. In fact, compared to their more Eastern-influenced debut album, All Hour Cymbals (released October 2007), you might liken Odd Blood to a Molly Ringwald-esque dance party with, of course, many other elements - tambourines, maracas, bells, whistles - thrown in to give it a unique edge.
Taking the stage in pure hipster style - a conglomeration of loose tanks and hats, a jumpsuit (Anand Wilder - guitar/vocals) and a slim-fitting blazer that looked rather uncomfortable (Chris Keating - vocals) - Yeasayer has quite the diverse look about them, and I can't help but comment that bassist Ira Wolf Tuton looked like he came straight from Jersey Shore (it was something about the hair mixed with the tank and neck chain that did it...though he definitely wasn't tan enough for Pauly D's liking).
The show itself was not as high-energy and impressive as I had hoped for it to be, though the band seemed to gain momentum throughout the hour-plus set, which definitely seeped into the crowd. And don't get me wrong - I'm not saying I didn't enjoy the show, but here's why it perhaps did not live up to my expectations. First, Yeasayer is a more production-heavy band, so it's hard to re-create that oomph in the live setting. And, second, the last show I saw at La Zona Rosa seriously blew the socks right off of me...and that was Phoenix, which is hard to compete with considering those guys have the most amazing stage presence and performance to boot. I mean, I left the December '09 Phoenix show in sheer and utter awe.
So, if I had to rate the Yeasayer show on a scale of 1 - 10, I'd probably give it an 8. As one of my friends said referring to their performance of "I Remember": "My favorite song. Sounds better on the album." Regardless, I'd definitely give these guys another chance in the live setting. And they may have been vibing on the crowd, too, because I wasn't all that impressed with the energy in the room. Let's kick it up a notch, people! And we might get the chance because Keating did say on-stage that they love Austin, being the only city they were playing multiple nights.
Wait for the Summer - eastern sounding
I Remember - new song
Love Me Girl