Yeasayer @ House Of Blues
One thing that has come to bother me about our city’s music scene over the years is that bands will come through one of our small venues such as Walter’s, play a well receptive set to a packed room, then altogether skip Houston for several years to follow. When these bands do actually make it back, it’s after a huge swell in their growth, and they end up playing much larger and less personal venues such as House of Blues. One band that most recently did this exact thing was Brooklyn indie-freaksters Yeasayer. They came through with MGMT (another band currently in the same situation, coming to HoB soon…) back in January 2008, and haven’t been to Houston since. Yes, they’ve played Austin on numerous occasions, Dallas as well, but for some reason we didn’t make the grade. Maybe because we’re lacking a non-corporate venue that is between Walter’s and HoB in size, and has a certain indie draw? Hopefully the new Warsaw (formerly The Engine Room) will help us out there.
Despite the two-plus year absence from the Bayou City, I still welcomed them back with open arms, and walked into their show excited to hear them showcase their new material. Check out more from the show after the jump.
I walked in with only a small taste of Yeasayer’s new album, Odd Blood, as I was yet to fully divulge myself into it. I knew that I loved all of the material from their break-out debut, All Hour Cymbals, and have see two great performances by the band prior, I knew this would have to be a good time. The set started soon, and as I fought my way through the crowd to try and get good shots with the fluorescent glowing back light, they immediately made the room dance. It was a good set that leaned heavily on the new album, and only featured a handful of the classics. “O.N.E.” was a stand-out, as were “2080,” “Rome,” Dark Was The Night‘s “Tight Rope” and “Wait For The Wintertime.” The set, to me, though was my least favorite from the group yet. Their new approach to songs seems like their more intent on sounding good for the masses rather than sticking to their off-brand tribal freak-rock they became known for. Don’t get me wrong, I really like the new album and think it’s better than some directions they could have taken with their sound, but I’m a sucker for the old stuff. I didn’t hear much old stuff.
The set was very short as well, but they made up for it with a tasty version of Odd Blood‘s best song, “Ambling Alp” to close the set, and a classic show-closer in “Sunrise.” It was a good set, but I’m looking forward to the tour after they finish the full-on promotion blitz for Odd Blood, and they start mixing up their set with all of their material rather than mostly the new.
I still love Yeasayer with all of my heart, but was unimpressed with this particular showing. Hopefully next time I get a better taste!