Remember talent shows in school? There was always the one act that was headed to the neon lights and the rest were destined for business school. That's what the Yeasayer show felt like last Friday at the Ukrainian Cultural Center.
Despite buying tickets in advance, everyone had to wait in one line to pick them up from Scoops Ice Cream shop around the corner. Something about the U.C.C. being a tax exempt building prevented actual money from being exchanged within its walls. For those of us over 21, we could also buy drink tickets from Scoops! $3 a piece or 5 for $10. Yippee. Of course, at $3 a drink, it wasn't no Stella or Kettle One. Inside the U.C.C. amongst the Cyrillic posters were signs for Vegan hot dogs ($3 too). This show really felt more like a fund raiser too get a new Coke machine than a show by one of the best new bands of the year.
On to the show. The first act. Sucked. I'll skip talking about them. Ok, twist my arm-it was a guy and girl "singing" and "dancing" over cheesy dance beats programmed into a drum machine. I think they wrote the material while in line for Scoops.
The second act, Death Set, was the punk rock band that your friends were in in high school that always played in the quad. "Wake up and let's turn this into a Punk Rock show" yelled the singer. I haven't heard that since the last time I saw Social Distortion. With 2 drum kits set up on the floor and zero lights, it actually was kind of cool...if the music didn't sound like the first sentence of this paragraph.
Finally, at 11:30 Yeasayer took the stage. 3 months after the fateful show at the Echoplex where a girl was hit with a maraca (and whose boyfriend was more pissed about it than she was), the band did not seem too happy about playing here. Opening with Worms, they played a 40 minute set with only 1 real break to talk to the crowd.
Singer Chris Keating thanked everyone for not going to Coachella although something tells me they planned their tour to land them in LA this weekend in the hopes that a slot would open. There was the scent of bitterness in the air.
No Need To Worry, the song previously involving maracas, was this evening played with a tambourine. Keating through it at the already destroyed cymbal half a dozen times nearly ricocheting it into the face of their drummer.
Yeasayer - No Need To Worry
Thankfully, they were able to close the set with Sunrise this time which was absent from the Echoplex show.
I didn't even bother sticking around for No Age. I'd seen enough mediocre music earlier in the evening to last me through May.
Yeasayer - Sunrise