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Yacht Rock!

March 12th, 2010

YACHT – The Bowery Ballroom – March 11, 2010

YACHT - The Bowery Ballroom - March 11, 2010
Value is often measured based on contrast. Good is understood in relation to that which is evil. Bravery is honored compared to the shame of cowardice. However, when an entity comprises disparate forms, simple evaluation cannot suffice. The most puzzling images and figures confound due to their contradictory nature. Yet, like an M.C. Escher drawing or Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, art flourishes from unresolved confusion. It is perhaps for this reason that YACHT is currently thriving.

The duo of Jona Bechtolt and Claire L. Evans package themselves as opposing forces. On and offstage, Bechtolt dons a white suit while Evans dresses in black from head to toe. Furthermore, although the two deliver evangelical messages and religious edicts during their performance, their Web site and stage design proclaim: “YACHT is not a cult.” Clearly they intend to personify that which they are and are not. Despite this façade of absurdity, Bechtolt and Evans create effervescent and captivating earworms. For this reason, they can draw a sold-out crowd at The Bowery Ballroom and persuade those in attendance to kneel, chant and dance.

During their short yet spirited performance, YACHT played the majority of their recent album, See Mystery Lights. The record plays on themes of death, heaven and hell but is in no way depressing or morbid. Even when it is in poor taste, as the group chanted the lyric “Do the Kurt Cobain and blow your brains out” from “B Side Suicide,” it was done with playfulness and levity. This charismatic energy was most apparent during the anthemic “Psychic City” and their show opener, “Ring the Bell.” Additionally, the duo constantly interacted with the audience, from descending into the crowd to laying hands upon eager fans. If YACHT intends to create intrigue, they have certainly achieved it with their personality and music. —Jared Levy

Photos courtesy of Jennifer Macchiarelli | www.jennylow.com