Concert review: Yeasayer at The Ottobar
Midnight Sun correspondent Andy Rosen saw Yeasayer's sold-out show at The Ottobar last night. Here is his review:
The first sound out of Yeasayser was a strange, slow synthesizer loop, as the five-piece, eerie indie outfit took the stage at Ottobar Thursday. A faster, spooky guitar line piled on top quickly, at first falling in and out of sync with the keyboard.
The tracks converged for good when the drums dropped in. The sold-out crowd was excited, at least judging from the intensity of the cheers. Still, everybody was just staring, transfixed as the Brooklyn band with Baltimore roots got into "The Children," the first track off this year's release, "Odd Blood." ...
The band was tight, played complex, mostly rhythmic tunes and was mixed well. People were into it. Still, it felt like Yeasayer was just a set list tweak or two away from totally blowing the place away in what amounted to a homecoming show.
Lead singer Chris Keating and guitarist Anand Wilder met at the Park School, and they clearly still have a lot of friends here. Keating had fun, mixing a percussive synthesizer track and stepping back at times to pound a crash cymbal with his fist.
But it was perhaps most apparent the last song of the night that Yeasayer could have done more. The crowd was going nuts after the fist song following the band's brief departure. They came back with "Strange Reunions." That song features, an intense, Eastern-influenced guitar line, a Soft Cell-style vocal line from Wilder and a heavy downbeat that had almost everybody jumping.
Then they finished, just before midnight, with "Sunrise," a spooky, spacey track that really didn't fit the exultant mood of the crowd.
We left feeling a little let down. That's not to say the show wasn't good. It was great fun. Yeasayer has a really special sound, mixing a big new wave influence with very strong vocal harmonies that sound like they come out of some twisted doo-wop track.
But it's hard not to feel like the band missed an opportunity to really make it sublime. Maybe it was the set list, maybe it was the strange crowd and maybe it was just the band's spooky sound. There was just something odd about the mix.
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