Review: Yeasayer bring a trippy taste of Brooklyn to the State Theatre
Touring behind their spectacular second album, Odd Blood, Yeasayer played their very first show in Florida Monday night to a full house at St. Petersburg’s State Theatre.
The band’s three core members — Anand Wilder (vocals, guitar and keyboards), Chris Keating (vocals and keyboards) and Ira Wolf Tuton (bass, keyboards and vocals) — were joined by drummer Jason Trammell and keyboardist Ahmed Gallab (who both played on Odd Blood). Together they created a lush electro-psychedelic soundscape that had the crowd dancing throughout the entire set.
Yeasayer came out of the gate swinging, opening their set with Madder Red (sung by Wilder), an epically catchy track from Odd Blood. The song begins with the band singing the harmonized “ohs” and “ahs” of the melody line before launching head-on into the pounding verse. The song’s heavy subject matter, a relationship being torn apart by vices, is reflected perfectly by the dramatic and desperate (with a hint of repentance) music. Playing for a crowd who was probably seeing the band for the first time, it was the perfect way to start the night.
There are two sides to Yeasayer. The tracks sung by Wilder seem to be of a more weighty subject matter, with a bit of an eastern influence in music. To balance the powerful opening track, up next was Rome, which is sung by Keating. His tracks are among the more danceable, whimsical and (dare I say) sexy songs in the Yeasayer catalogue. With Rome, he bounced around the stage to the thumping beat, getting the crowd pumped.
These two aspects of Yeasayer aren’t at odds with each other, but in fact thrive together from track to track and within each song. If either were missing, the band might be too weird or too serious, or could fall into the trap of everything sounding the same. But these different facets keep each other in check by gravitating around the central point that is Yeasayer’s sound.
Throughout the night, Wilder and Keating traded vocal duties every few songs, keeping the set sounding fresh and energized. The band dipped heavily into Odd Blood, playing all but two of its tracks. Fan favorites Mondegreen, O.N.E. and Ambling Amp were met with thunderous applause. From 2007’s All Hour Cymbals, the band pulled out Waiting For The Summer, Sunrise and 2080.
Augmenting their massive sound, Yeasayer dressed the stage with a few towering matrixes of circular honeycomb coupled with strategically placed lights and strobes. This gave the band a vivid and fluid backdrop for the delivery of their envelope-pushing sound.
— Gabriel Loewenberg, tbt*