Yeasayer Brings New Music to The Bowery Ballroom

February 9th, 2010

Yeasayer – The Bowery Ballroom – February 8, 2010

Yeasayer
Brooklyn’s Yeasayer exists somewhere between an indeterminate futurism and the completely recognizable past. Like a laser-charged Krautrock band playing in British Mandate-era Palestine or like Depeche Mode performing in postcolonial Delhi, the band is undeniably synthesized, tribal and born back into the future. At a sold-out Bowery Ballroom, the reference game would prove useful as they took the stage amidst sea-sick colors and flashing lights.

Yeasayer opened with the unsettling and familiar first track from their latest record, Odd Blood, “The Children.” With vocals set in an artificially low register and pulsing, almost breathing industrial soundscapes, “The Children” was the edgy, creepy start to a set that would only equal one of the previous two descriptors. Relying heavily on material from the new album, out today, the group powered through “Love Me Girl,” “Madder Red” and “Remember,” although not necessarily in that order. There was an air of science to the exoticism, like Yeasayer had shown up to mediate sound, rather than actually produce it. Far more the medium for the cacophony than its creator, it was almost like they were the dimmer for the lights pulsing around them.

Yeasayer, the guys who used to practice in their apartment on Prospect Avenue in South Park Slope, closed their main set with “Ambling Alp” and “O.N.E,” the two singles off Odd Blood. The words of the middle of their set—from “Remember”—were still echoing around in the top recesses of The Bowery Ballroom: “You’re stuck in my mind/ All the time.” People wouldn’t forget this. And then loops peeled off into nowhere, and the band shuffled around between here and some indefinite never forever. —Geoff Nelson