Show Review: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, YACHT at The Fox Oakland, 9/9/09

by Dakin Hardwick on September 10, 2009

The eye is there to keep the audience safe

The eye is there to keep the audience safe

So, yesterday was 9/9/09, the day of the Beatle. While everyone was at home listening to the newly remastered stereo and mono boxsets or playing the make believe Beatles video game, I opted to attend a performance by a slightly younger band that may only be as big as the Pope, not Jesus. (Now, if anyone at Harmonix or EMI is reading this, and would like me to review either Beatles Rock Band or the new remasters, feel free to send them my way: email me at [email protected] and I will give you my mailing address)

I missed the opening act, The Oh See’s, which is only notable because both other bands kept thanking them, and it confused me a little bit, because I thought that they were referring to the Christian ska band that was mildly popular in the mid ’90s, not the local band who are awesome. I’ve seen them before, so it wasn’t horrible that I missed them, but alas, it was a bad traffic day.

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YACHT played next. They did basically electroclash, despite the term not being used much anymore. The music was all straight from a laptop, and they had a video screen that flashed words and images of varying degrees of  intrigue. There were two vocalists on stage, Jona Bechtolt and Claire L Evans, and they moved around, primped and sashayed in a way similar to the “Club Kids” from the film Party Monster. Both singers had great stage presence, but the songs themselves seemed a bit flat to me.

The set opened up with Karen O hiding underneath a towel, singing “Runaway,” a slow burning track off of their brilliant record It’s Blitz, and continued the the buildup with “Phenomena” and “Man” before breaking in to “Dull Life.” By this song, the crowd was a sweaty/dancey mess! The dance floor is equal parts nightclub and mosh pit.

After moving through a set of heavy numbers, they did three ballads from It’s Blitz. Vocalist Karen O moved from wailing to emoting, and guitarist Nick Zinner and drummer Brian Chase proved that they are two of the most versatile musicians in pop music, showing that they can do heartfelt love songs alongside the club, garage, and punk rock that the band derives their sound from. They were filled out by a touring bassist/keyboardist that was never acknowledged by the band, and I can’t seem to find any information about her on the web, either, but deserved many kudos for helping fill out the low end on a lot of the new songs. (Loyal Readers: Any information would be appreciated on her, especially other projects she has)

The main set closed with the track “Zero,” which may be the weakest track on the new record, but the worst track on said record doesn’t hold a candle to 90% of the music created this year.

The band returned without the bassist to do a few more songs from their earlier records. “Cheated Hearts” kept the crowd moving while “Maps” prompted a mass sing along. The show was supposed to end with the spastic “Date With The Night,” but nobody was letting them leave. A large number of people in the very front asked for “Y Control,” and after taking a few moments out to refresh themselves, they ended with a perfect blistering take on the song.

It was a brilliant and sweaty night. Here’s a list of songs you missed if you weren’t there:

Runaway
Phenomena
Man
Dull Life
Gold Lion
Heads Will Roll
Pin
Miles Away
Skeletons
Hysteric
Soft Shock
Honeybears
Zero
—–
Cheated Hearts
Maps
Date With The Night
Y Control

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Vanessa Romero September 11, 2009 at 3:58 pm

Why can’t I figure out what’s going on in that last photo?

Reply

Dakin Hardwick September 11, 2009 at 4:03 pm

It’s a kitty playing with Y shaped confetti, of course!

Reply

Vanessa Romero September 11, 2009 at 4:11 pm

Oh duh, of course!

Reply

caroline September 11, 2009 at 4:25 pm

DP and I went to last nights show, it was hardly the same crowd. Definitely no sweaty, dancey mess, although there were a few people in the crowd that tried to make it that.

I usually don’t say this because it usually isn’t a problem for me, but the sound wasn’t very good. It was hard to hear the vocals over the rest of the band.

They also started the encore with “Y Control”.

Reply

Marie Carney September 12, 2009 at 2:32 pm

i have my fingers crossed for your beatles dreams…

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