Yeasayer at First Avenue – 5/24/2016


After a healthy dose of rock and alt-country Sunday night, First Avenue turned towards the psychedelic and experimental side of music Tuesday. Brooklyn’s Yeasayer rolled into town promoting their new album “Amen & Goodbye”.

First up was another Brooklyn, NY group Young Magic. Composed of Melati Malay and Isaac Emmanuel the band is known for incorporating recordings from their world travels into their music. Taking the stage in long coats (did I miss snowfall in 80 humid degrees?) their percussion heavy found quickly drew in the crowd that grew quite a bit during their performance. They just released their new album “Still Life”. Malay’s stage presence is impressive whether is with your guitar or free to use her hands to express herself. Overall a great band I was happy to see for the first time.

Yeasayer, made up of Chris Keating, Ira Wolf Tuton and Anand Wilder took the stage in a forest of abstract human sculptures that incorporated lights. “Half Asleep” kicked of the set and made sure that nobody in the audience was. Singer Chris Keating moved between keyboard and standalone mike (never missing a hand off), Tuton and Wilder also were active on stage and moved around quite a bit. Things go lively quickly and the edge of the crowd on First Avenue’s main floor had numerous dancers. One thing that always fascinates me about First Avenue is how many bands remember their last visit even years ago – something I do not see at other clubs around town. Yeasayers set was trippy at time with lights, sounds and fog creating a detached, dreamy atmosphere without ever leaving the audience behind.  To me it was a great balance of danceable, psychedelic and enough pop to keep things interesting.

Set List: Half Asleep / Gerson’s Whistle / Henrietta / Cold Night / 2080 / Madder Red / Tightrope / Divine Simulacrum / Dead Sea Scrolls / Sunrise / I Am Chemistry Encore: Uma / Silly Me / Ambling Alp / O.N.E.