It was amazingly nice outside the Ogden last night. No jacket, no problem. Inside it was also “summer is upon us.” Folks milling about looked like they just finished up a day of playing kickball at City Park. After Smith Westerns finished up early, the slow drip of Yeasayer fans methodically filled in the floorspace from the photo pit back to the bar.
“Goodbye Horses” came over the sound system and set the mood with that light-hearted, new wave, “Silence of the Lambs“ feel you really want when you’re less than an inch from sweaty strangers. Yeasayer snuck on stage and tucked themselves into their places. The lights flooded the room and they eased into “The Children.” ‘Twas but a teaser as they delighted their fans by switching suddenly to “Madder Red.”
The boys from Brooklyn have made sizable waves in a surprisingly short amount of time. I was a little shocked when they referred to “Odd Blood” (the audience’s clear favorite album, and what this tour is officially supporting) as their “old stuff” (it was released last year). Their inevitable new LP had a few strong tracks in the set list to be excited about, but the crowd was definitely there for what they were already in love with.
“Grizelda” was a highlight with its live interpretation being much more deliberate and measured. It is now definitely more memorable than how it appears on the album. Like their whole performance, it was a tight, yet expanded version of their highly-produced studio sound. They nailed it. “Tightrope,” their addition to 2009’s “Dark Was The Night” compilation, won the biggest audience participation.
With loads of lights, two LED walls hung behind them and a kinetic stage presence, Yeasayer puts on a fabulous show. Breaking every so often to talk about how much they love Denver, the 5-piece could really do no wrong. I’ll leave the “grind dancing hipster robots” criticisms of the band and the crowd to other folks (who have a valid, reasoned opinion), but my take away was a really fun show that exceeded my sonic expectations.
Marc Hobelman makes websites at The Denver Post, tweets pictures of his cat and is a regular contributor to Reverb.
Joe McCabe is a Denver photographer and a regular contributor to Reverb. Check out his website.