Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Yeasayer Live 6/7/2010


With a hefty amount of radio air time, festival confirmations (Leeds&Reading, T in the Park, Lattitude) and hype surrounding Brooklyn's Yeasayer, a gig at a small
venue such as Sheffield Plug seemed like an opportunity not to be missed. Yeasayer have been creating atmospheric music dominated by synthesisers and harmonic vocals
since early 2006, but have only recently been thrust into the lime light of the British alternative scene. The latest album, ODD BLOOD, witnesses Yeasayer growing as a band. Songs including Ambling Alp, Madder Red and the heavily played ONE show Yeasayer to be moving on from their debut album All Hour Cymbals to a more playable rather than experimental level. Not that the debut is to be neglected any glory.

The Mission: to see if Yeasayer can take what they made so succesfully in New York to the stage in South Yorkshire successfully.

Before starting, it must be said that the support act for tonights show, Clock Opera, deserved their applause. Seriously, treat yourself to the songs; Belongings and A Piece of String if you fancy giving your ears a metaphorical massage.

Now, the main show. GO.

The stage is covered in a white sheet, instruments are rested upon white narrow tables and it all seems a touch blank for one of 2010s most hotly tipped acts.
Enter Yeasayer. The white tables become neon lit pillars as the white cloth covering the stage flashes with more colours than Joseph and that dream coat he loved.
More like it. The Children, song numero uno from the new album is how the band introduce themselves to Sheffield. Robotic vocals and lights to make a epileptic spasm for days create a surreal and futuristic vibe. As the songs fade out, another fades in. A superb blend of skill and musical euphoria. Grizelda, and older tracks such as 2080 are soon followed by I Remember, a slower song on the album, but more zesty and pop locking live. Lyrically its not as sound as the album, but give the track a listen and i think you would agree that such a feat would be hard to achieve.

Madder Red is a spectacular event in the night. The white columns and whole stage become lit with the colour mentioned in the title and the harmonic vocals are
if not better than on the album, perhaps aided by the voices within the venue. One thing lacks. The Plug dancefloor is as stiff and motionless as a steel once made in
Sheffield. Yeasayer then bring out the big guns. ONE gets the crowd bouncing a little more, before the final track Ambling Alp finishes the job. The live version
of the latter differs from that of the album. More twangy and guitar-based but with that familiar drum pounding still ever present. Definately worth a listen if you
ever run out of pointless piano playing cats to watch on Youtube (at the bottom for your pleasure just in case).

The band thank Sheffield, before "dying in Serbia" the next day explains joint frontman Chris Keating, having already asked the question; "they're not at war anymore right?".
Americans eh?

All in all a splendid spread.
Live sounds album quality? If not better.
Visually spectacular? Yes. If this was a DVD i could happily watch it in mute drunk.
Awesome crowd? No. Mild and tepid.
Worth £15? Without a doubt.

You can see Yeasayer on tour this summer:
LoveBox Victoria Park, London.17/7/2010
Lattitude Festival, Suffolk. 18/7/2010
Reading Festival: 27/8/2010
Leeds Festival: 28/8/2010