Concert Review: tUnE-yArDs, June 3, 9:30 Club


Has tUnE-yArDs “made it”?
Let’s check.
1) Is she booking reputable venues?
Not to toot DC’s horn, but the 9:30 Club is widely recognized as one of the best music venues in the 50 United States (see the Esky music awards, the Billboard Touring Awards, etc). Last time tUnE-yArDs came around she sold out back to back shows at the Black Cat – a feat in and of itself. But the fact that the woman is now rolling in and out of the 9:30 Club like a boss is one strong indicator she has, indeed, made it.
2) Is she drawing crowds?
Lady sold out the aforementioned 9:30 Club. On a Sunday night. No big deal.
3) Does she have good openers?
Um, if you can name a better opener than an eight-piece mariachi band in matching costumes and corbatins, go for it. But until you are preceded, in your daily life, by a comparably hard-rocking ensemble that markets itself as “purveyors of audio and visual dissidence” and includes an accordion, and a title like “Mariachi El Bronx” I’m going to go ahead and say tUnE-yArDs can one-up you. (Side note: I love this band’s song Slave Labor which they dedicated to everyone dreading the return of the work-week the next day).
4) Do the crowds like her?
Remarks heard yelled at the concert: “YOU ARE A GODDESS!” “LET ME HAVE YOUR BABIES!” “DC LOVES YOU!” “MARRY ME!” Conclusion: yeah, her fans think she’s OK.
5) Is she backed by a good band?
tUnE-yArDs travels with three guys. They are amazing, and, unless their relationship is totally different off stage than on-stage, they seem totally happy to be there and devoted to their front lady. Her two saxophonists are SO ADORABLE and are great at doing anything required (which included but was not limited to: jumping and twirling in unison, banging on the floor/mic stands/pots and pans (?)/jamming out – and playing great sax of course). Her guitarist is also a star, providing back-up vocals and great music.
6) Are her songs solid?
They are amazing. Seriously. tUnE-yArDs pulled out her classics, including Bizness and Gangsta and also mixed it up with some songs I was less familiar with, such as Real Live Flesh which I immediately fell in love with.
7) But are her songs good live?
You haven’t heard tUnE-yArDs until you’ve heard her live. She rocks it – and seeing her make her own loops and feedbacks and instrumentals is absolutely worth the ticket price.
8) But sell her. For real.
tUnE-yArDs is the one artist I’ve seen in the past decade who cannot be compared to… anyone. I like a lot of artists, but feel I can ‘boil them down’ to a combination of three-ish other artists (i.e. Of Monsters And Men = Mighty Mighty Bosstones + Edward Sharpe + Mason Jennings). tUnE-yArDs is tUnE-yArDs. Check her out.

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Posted on by halley in Concerts, Everything

2 Responses to Concert Review: tUnE-yArDs, June 3, 9:30 Club

  1. Zeya

    There was actually a bass player in the band, not a guitarist. And I agree, their live show was absolutely stellar!

  2. Halley Aelion

    Thanks for the correction!

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