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Monday, May 3, 2010

Concert Review: Yeasayer at the Grog Shop

Posted By on Mon, May 3, 2010 at 10:00 AM

Yeah, their music is kinda like that
  • Yeah, their music is kinda like that

Consider Yeasayer’s video for “O.N.E.” as their aesthetic keynote and you'll have an inkling of what to expect from this Brooklyn-based quintet’s in concert. Replace the face-shifting and some of the futuristic aspects with modern-day equipment on top of strobe columns, and you pretty much have it.

Keep in mind that the band's mission statement in “2080” came enclosed with hokey new-age lyrics: “I can’t sleep when I think about the times we’re living in/I can’t sleep when I think about the future I was born into.” Years later, their paternal side tells us to “stick up for yourself, son” in “Ambling Alp,” which was received positively by Friday's sold-out audience at the Grog Shop.

Yeasayer skirted across their hits and misses with careful diligence. It was a fine set that did little to dispense any uneasy reservations of robo-kids talking through a fan in “The Children” or the frustrating Passion Pit falsetto found elsewhere.

To their credit, the crowd barely noticed, stepping wildly over one another. “Sunrise” and “Wait for the Summer” deserted some of the Middle Eastern influence in favor of greater rhythmic focus, while “Tightrope,” a highlight from the spectacular Dark Was the Night charity compilation, remained the perfect balance of what this band is capable of.

Earlier, newcomers to Brooklyn buzz, Sleigh Bells, were loud enough to make any audiophile within earshot cringe. Alexis Krauss, with her teen-pop group experience, added plenty of hair-flinging charisma to blown-out hip-hop beats and Derek Miller’s metal riffs. They're signed to M.I.A.’s label N.E.E.T. (their debut comes out on May 11), but rather than the Sri Lankan’s caps-locked political tweets, Sleigh Bells let their music provide the exclamation point. —Michael Tkach

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