I just got back from the show. Even though I’m physically tired, my brain is still wide awake, so I might as well write a blog about it…

The day began with me doing a little shopping. First I went to Target and used a coupon I have for 5% off a whole day of shopping. I bought a pair of Converse, in the hopes that they will be more comfortable for standing in one place all day at work than athletic shoes, which seem to only be comfortable when you’re moving around. I also got a pair of shorts, some Sudafed, and a CD by a band called Walk The Moon. I’d never heard of them, but it looked really cool and was only $7.99, so I decided to check them out. I listened to a few songs on my phone and was sold. They’re kinda dancey, maybe like a cross between Foster The People and The Killers, but with a dash of punkish guitar, and some really sweet falsetto vocals. It might not ever be one of my favorite CD’s, but I’m pretty sure it will get plenty of spins whenever I’m in the mood for something fun.

After Target I went to Amazing Savings. I chat a lot with the girls that work there, and when I told them it was my birthday they gave me 10% off. Not too shabby. The highlight of my grocery purchase was undoubtably a frozen treat that basically amounts to a Rice Crispie Treat but with chocolate ice cream in the middle. Why did no one think of this sooner? I came home and listened to some music and did a little doodling and then got ready for the evening.

I met up with James and Nici outside of Doc Chey’s, but evidently they’re closed on Wednesdays. Sarah was running a little behind, and just as I was about to call to tell her they were closed she came walking toward us. I was still in the mood for noodles, so we opted for The Noodle Shop right down the street, which was pretty good. We all split a crunchy squid appetizer which was incredible. I got the chicken Pad Thai, which while it wasn’t amazing, was pretty good. Sarah paid for dinner and James and Nici gave me their usual random WTF-inducing Dollar Store birthday presents, which this year consisted of a box of Fiddle Faddle and some silly string. They left after dinner and Sarah and I headed to the Orange Peel.

We got there pretty early and just hung out for a while. A girl approached us and asked if the seat next to us was taken. We started talking and she mentioned how she’s here in Asheville for a summer internship and doesn’t have any friends, so she always ends up going to concerts alone. We chatted some more and exchanged numbers and talked about the possibility of going to see a show sometime. Midway through the opening band’s set she left to go to the bathroom and I never managed to track her down again. I sent her a text, so who knows, maybe she’ll make good on that and we’ll go to a concert soon.

The opening band was called Delicate Steve. Horrible name aside, they were pretty good. Their sound is an interesting mix of jam band, spacey prog rock, and a little of the Vampire Weekend style ethnic yacht rock. For the most part they were instrumental, and on the few songs that did have vocals they were mixed so low you couldn’t hear them. Their lead guitarist was absolutely incredible, using all sorts of weird sounds and tones in conjunction with blues based soloing and some slide work. The rhythm guitarist switched to synthesizer for several songs, and they had a lot of loops and samples thrown in for good measure. A few songs sounded like The Mars Volta, while others were closer to the sort of stuff that you would expect from a band opening up for Yeasayer. I’m not sure how well their sound would translate to a recording, but live it was a great experience.

During the intermission I made my way closer to the stage, while Sarah hung out in the back. When I had gotten about as close as I could I decided to just settle in and take in my surroundings. I noticed two girls, one of whom immediately caught my eye. She was extremely short with curly brown hair, with a bright red streak in it. She had a beautiful tattoo of what looked like a hummingbird on her back, but it was hard to tell because it was partly covered up by her shirt. I kept my eye on her throughout the show and decided that when it was over and I wouldn’t have to scream above the music I would say hello and tell her that I liked her tattoo and then hope for the best. However the very second the music stopped her and her friend headed straight for the back and I lost them. Oh well, maybe I’ll write a “missed connections” ad on Craigslist 😛

So by now you’re probably wondering when I’ll quit rambling about nonsense and talk about Yeasayer. Okay here goes…

Yeasayer put on a very fun, high energy, larger than life type show. There were crazy laser lights and giant mirrors, strobes and colored spotlights that blinded. The vibe was absolutely huge, it reminded me a lot of the Bear In Heaven concert I saw a few months ago. They played a pretty good mix of songs from their first two albums and songs from their upcoming disc, but they tended to focus more on the dance and rave oriented songs and shied away from ballads and their more middle eastern sounding stuff. Their new material sounds really solid, with a few unexpected sounds. One song featured a very prominent bassline and some weird percussion. Another new song was built around vaguely Latin sounding bongos, but then out of nowhere the song was taken over by keyboards that sounded like they were ripped straight out of “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails. I found it rather curious that their percussionist was standing the whole time, usually letting loops and synths take the place of the kick drum, and focusing instead on snare, bongos, and various pads and triggers. The primary singer also played a little percussion here and there, banging on a synth drum and shaking a tambourine when he wasn’t dialing up sounds on an analog synth or wandering all over the stage. The other singer usually played guitar, switching to keyboard on a few songs. When he played guitar it was usually so buried in effects that it didn’t even sound like a guitar. The same can be said for his vocals, as he often sang through a harmonizer and various other effects. There were a few songs where the two singers formed a three-part harmony with the bassist, recalling their early days in a vocal quartet. After a rather lengthy set they performed an encore consisting of two new songs and two old songs. The crowd was heavily into things from the very first note, and the band played off that energy. While it would be difficult to say that they “rocked” in a conventional sense, their performance was intense, fun, and full of great grooves and top-notch musicianship. The songs from their debut album were given new life and room to breathe, the songs on their second album sounded much better live than on CD, and based on the new songs they played, I’m eagerly anticipating their next album.

So yeah, that’s about it. Now to wind down and attempt to get some sleep before waking up dreadfully early for work. The End.

 

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