Yeasayer returned home Saturday to transform Terminal 5 into a new-age bohemian nightclub. They brought along The Smith Westerns (probably not old enough to buy alcohol), HUSH HUSH (One of the funniest musical acts you'll ever experience), decorative cacti (which seem to be in attendance at all of their shows lately), a synthesizer that didn't make it through the night, and a few new songs.
The group from Brooklyn launched their set by exploding into "Madder Red," and the entire venue followed suit. The red lights brought the atmosphere of Mars on the scene, kick-starting the crowd into a craze. If this was the band's way of coming out swinging, their performance of "Tightrope," recorded on Dark Was the Night was an emotional left hook that subdued the burning red-lit audience to a sober blue. But Yeasayer live is all about the energy, and the hiatus in floor-pounding songs ended with the unmistakable opening to "O.N.E." (We believe this is an acronym for the opening line "One's not enough".)
Any band that opens with three consecutive crowd pleasers risks dropping their audience from the clouds once the set list becomes a little more obscure. But Yeasayer is not "any band." They whipped out one of the more danceable tracks on Odd Blood called "Mondegreen," and the place became feral. The mood took over for the music, and the environment by itself was more than enough to keep the show breathing. This mix of well-crafted songs that can be supplemented by a sound easily described as "fun" is what distinguishes Yeasayer as a melting pot for world-music, folk, and pop.
While most of the songs they played were offOdd Blood, there were some tracks from All Hour Cymbals including the anthemic "2080," which falls into the 'song 2.0' category. By the end of the song, you were hard pressed to find someone who wasn't screaming out of key: "Yeah yeah we can all grab at the chance and be handsome farmers/ Yeah you can have twenty one sons and be blood when they marry my daughters." Sadly, Yeasayer opted not to play "Red Cave." But they did play a never-before-heard rendition of "Rome" off Odd Blood. This grainier guitar version of the usually synth heavy song was born of serendipity: in other words, one of their synthesizers broke, and the result happened to be awesome. "Ambling Alp" followed this as the last song before the encore, and was, as expected, awesome.
It was officially Sunday morning by the time Yeasayer wrapped up the encore. In retrospect, the song they chose to close out with made perfect sense: It was none other than the pop-ballad off All Hour Cymbals titled, "Sunrise."
For more Yeasayer action, check out our full concert shoot with the band at their Music Hall Of Williamsburg show last year.