Concert Review: Yacht, December 6th, Lincoln Hall

Posted on by Celeste in Concerts | 1 Comment


Chicago – I’m going to start out this review by giving YACHT some of the highest praise possible (in my book) for a band – they made going out on a Tuesday night worth it.

The night got off to a rocky start – local Chicago opener Cains and Abels took the stage at Lincoln Hall promptly at 8:00 and while they played a solid set, there wasn’t much that the eleven of us in the audience could really do to show our appreciation. Somehow applause and whistles from eleven people sounds more like sarcasm than anything else – sorry guys.

By the time Extreme Animals came on at 9:00 the place was starting to fill up a little. Extreme Animals is composed of two guys, both sporting long locks, one very stoically playing an electric guitar that brings to mind Spinal Tap, and the other auto-tuning covers of a very eclectic mix of covers (my concert companion very aptly dubbed them as Weird Al Yankovic meets Girl Talk, but not necessarily in a good way). Bizarre and slightly creepy images of dismembered hands sifting through sand and melting faces play in the background, and at the climax of the show two three tiered pumpkins inflate on stage – they even have names, (one was Never4Get, and I completely forget the name of the second one). It was a little trippy, a little unpleasant, a little catchy, and a little funny. I have to say my favorite was their last one, which was a mash-up of the Harry Potter theme song and Christine O’Donnell’s “I am not a Witch” campaign commercial.

At 10:30 YACHT came out (I was impressed to see that at this point the place was filled. Shout-out to Chicagoans coming out in force on a szuper cold Tuesday night in the name of good music!). The band came on stage and immediately started rockin’ out, no chit-chat. This is definitely a band that sounds better live than recorded. They’ve got an energy that comes across in person that doesn’t quite make it on youtube. You could make the direct comparison because their music videos were playing in the background. I’m not sure why they bothered – it was way more fun to watch lead singer Claire Evans busting out her dance moves. The woman had impressive stamina – she spent a solid hour and a half jumping, wiggling and generally rockin’ out, onstage, offstage, in the audience and even on top of the sound system at one point. That would have made a Tuesday night concert worth it in and of itself but YACHT also sounded fantastic, and they were obviously in tune with the crowd. Clear crowd favorites Summer Song, Psychic City, The Afterlife, Tripped and Fell in Love, definitely got the audience moving and they saved Shangri-La for their single-song encore. There was a powerpoint mid-concert where the audience was told that the event would be split into three acts, starting with an introduction that necessitated the entire audience humming together as one, blah blah blah, but even the band forgot about this unnecessary component once they got rolling, and they never actually made it to act three – we were all too engrossed in the music to care.

Yacht – Psychic City by SDP

Concert Review: Yacht, May 2nd, Lee’s Palace

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts | Leave a comment

Toronto – It’s been two years since Yacht put on an epic performance at the Wrongbar. Sold out and buzzing with energy, the Portland duo put on a fantastic show featuring above all else, a prayer circle to expell the crowd of all evils. Yacht’s return to Toronto on Monday just happen to coincide with this little event called the federal election and produced a decidedly smaller crowd at Lee’s Palace, but that did not deter the group from putting on a stellar show. They were in town to preview their new record, Shangri-La off DFA Records

Dressed once again in contrasting black and white outfits, Jona Bechtolt and Claire Evans rocked the stage on Monday night with a mixture of new material with songs off their hit album See Mystery Lights. Barefooted and dressed in a white dress, the wiry Claire was a mesmerizing force on stage – she danced, she sang, she climbed things and during parts of the song The Afterlife, went into the crowd and started tapping people on the head. As my friend put it “if I was in a band, I would be like her … just. do whatever I want on stage!” I was quite surprise with Jona’s decision to remain in the background for most if the set, content with playing synthesizer, guitar and providing the vocals when needed. Last time I saw them there seemed to be a lot more vocal interplay between the pair.

The new tracks blended nicely with the older material, which follows the classic formula of dance worthy beats and upbeat lyrics that eventually lead to singalongs. The disco-esque new single Dystopia (The Earth Is on Fire) got a great reaction and as usual the single Psychic City got the crowd singing. It’s impossible to not want to dance a bit when they are on stage. The energy and positive energy they radiate is infectious and the people who were at Lees ate it up. Let’s hope there’s a few more people here next time they roll into town.

Yacht – Dystopia by theQuietus

Concert Review: YACHT , MNDR, March 4, Wrongbar

Posted on by Gary in Concerts | 3 Comments


Toronto – When we walked into the Wrongbar at 11pm there was already a large, and somewhat weird (in composition) crowd. I thought it was because we had missed Bobby Birdman‘s set (who was interesting on the strength of myspace samples – alas I was delayed by the awesome power of Mass Effect 2). But there was an even weirder girl standing alone on the stage, complete with fuzzy hair and a pair of huge white-rimmed plastic glasses. Being the ignorant snob that I am, my autonomic reflex said: “she’s a stage hand”. And then she stopped playing the intermission dance tunes; brain-churns a bit more: “she’s the DJ”. And then she started to address the crowd, introducing how she’s from Oakland and proceeded to play. Brain bellows: “You pig. She’s the DJ and also MNDR… one of the acts playing tonight. And if you write this into the review everyone will know you are retarded.” Out comes the camera of course for pictures. Let’s put a disclaimer out first: I’m no fan of electro-pop… usually. I really don’t have a lot of reference points to judge her music. To me, it’s very catchy. I’m more impressed with her voice, though, which was bright and dead-on with a synthetic quality. It sounded like we were in the studio listening to the recording just afterward. Ricky reached the conclusion that it took quite some courage to be on that stage alone, dancing to the music before a Toronto crowd that usually nod or foot-tap. So kudos to MNDR for making them exercise a bit, and Wrongbar for covering everything with a London fog at one point. Some of her more recognizable numbers: Fade to black and C.L.U.B.


Bobby Birdman helped on bass for YACHT, who came on around 12:30AM. They were energetic and I guess that was impressive seeing how I am 3 decades old. Jumping around and doing choreographed gestures/moves was a bit fresh compared to most other singing statues. But we’ve seen this type of infectious energy before – Matt and Kim showed us their boundless enthusiasm in a really great lesson in mob psychology last spring at SXSW (where the 6’2″ Texans also check you for guns even though you look like the recoil can snap your arm). YACHT’s Jona Bechtolt has a similar way of buttering up the crowd. On being ask why bandmate Claire is so sexy, the reply goes: “it’s because she’s a mirror, you sexy fiend, you”. Working the 100 or so people like dough, at one point Jona walked to the center of the crowd and asked if everyone would kneel down to his level. Then the band proceeded to run a group healing session… I really want to shout along when he said: “… if you have that professor/boss that you’re working for who’s @#$!#.” If you do not listen to the lyrics, you might find them similar to Matt and Kim. But raise your ear just slightly and words like death, hell, heaven, voodoo, and f*** everything comes into your head. That’s vocabulary that you’d never see holding hands in a park with words like energetic, enthusiastic, and indie-pop music. But maybe that’s the whole point about angst. And also Claire’s Gothic dress code gives it away. It reminds me of when I saw the Nationals – that one song Abel totally did not prepare me for how sorrowful the rest of their music sounds. To bring it back to YACHT, they are lively and coherent on stage and is an interesting band to listen to. Psychic City, the last song at this set, would probably be the definitive sample. But also check out Waste of time (personally the better song) and See a penny pick it up. More pictures following the flickr links above.