Brooklyn band Yeasayer brought their experimental psychedelic rock to the West Bank’s Triple Rock Social Club last week, their sixth (!) show in the Twin Cities this year. Though the band appeared to be a little road-worn from their almost constant touring, they showed that even when their energy isn’t at its peak they can still outshine most bands on the stage. The big surprise of the evening was the crowd, which, though good-sized, was much smaller than it has been for the band’s most recent visits. Yeasayer remains the band du jour in certain hipster circles, but Thursday night’s audience may be an indicator that sometimes too much touring isn’t always a good thing.
The majority of the set drew from last year’s fantastic debut All Hour Cymbals, with a shaggy-looking Chris Keating taking the lead for crowd favorites like “2080” and “Waiting for the Summer,” all the while constantly fiddling with his various electronic knobs and buttons. The band’s sound gets compared a lot to that of New Wave legends Talking Heads, and nowhere was that more evident than in “Sunrise”—a song that sounds at times almost identical to the David Byrne/Thievery Corporation collaboration “The Heart’s a Lonely Hunter.” Yeasayer also treated their fans to an as-of-yet unreleased piece from their upcoming sophomore effort. If that track is any indictor, the band’s next album won’t mark any major departure from their current sound. (That’s not a bad thing.)
Chairlift—another Brooklyn band—opened the show, riding a wave of recognition from their song “Bruises,” which was recently featured in an iPod commercial. Fans of the jingle may have had a surprise in store for them, as it turned out that Chairlift’s catalog is much more substantial than just that one sugary pop track. According to Wikipedia they were formed with the original intent to make “background music for haunted houses,” but they have since morphed into a lush, moody pop band. Lead singer Caroline Polachek has a really terrific multifaceted voice, and she segues easily between English and French over the group’s electronic beats. Though Polachek may need a little work on her crowd banter (she opened the show by yelling, “How you doing, Milwaukee!”), I am convinced that she and her bandmates have a bright future ahead of them.
Jon Behm is a Minneapolis-based photographer and writer. While his specialty is music, Jon has a wide variety of interests that tend to take him all over the Twin Cities on a daily basis.