I was dragged to this gig by a friend, who told me that "I would appreciate this band.." When someone assures me I will like someone I am usually disappointed, much like when your friend matchmakes you with her "cool" (i.e. ugly) friend. But being drunk I was perfectly willing to be dragged, and at the end of the night was incredibly glad I was.
Despite hailing from Brooklyn, New York, Yeasayer do not scream Rock'n'Roll. The bassist looks like the Principal from "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," the guitarist like a miniature version of Big Chief from "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" and the singer well...he doesn't look like a singer at all.
But aesthetics aside this is a truly excellent, innovative band, and the fact that the Hub was almost empty was an absolute crime. The guitar pedals, synths, samplers and drum machines used make for an epic but still intensely rhythmical and simple sound. The bassist uses a fretless guitar with bizarre accuracy and skill, whilst still singing along as part of the four part harmonies and counter melodies which create a sense of Texas or South American country. They are the first band I have seen that has truly mastered the mix of rock and electronica, as well as many wide ranging genres. Those that claim the new Radiohead album has done this should take a listen to Yeasayer.
"2080's" vocal hook is unforgettable, and the sparse introduction to sunrise un-nerving yet still catchy, making you feet and arms move completely involuntarily. Each song had a new idea that sets it apart not only from other bands but from each song in the set and the only people moving more than the audience was the singer, who looked on the verge of collapse at any second. After the gig I approached them for a chat and a casual game of "Cock Or Ball" (which they suspiciously good at.) The guys were much more normal the their music might suggest, being very grounded and friendly, moaning about exchange rates and answering all my tedious question about their large array of instruments.