I wasn’t at your average indie rock show on Monday night. I was disco dancing in the neon illuminated Amazon rainforest and drinking Mexican tequila out of jungle leaves. Well, at least that’s what it felt like as I stood in the Metro Theatres grandstand watching experimental, psychedelic pop band Yeasayer.
The Brooklyn four-piece came alive on stage with their geometric fluoro lights, transcendent harmonies, trippy dance moves and their own brand of world-beat synth-pop fusion. Not only were the bursting rainbow colours nearly giving me a seizure (in a good way), but Yeasayer’s vivacious performance also had my eyes flipping side to side as Chris Keating and Anand Wilder tag-teamed the role of lead singer from opposite sides of the stage. The constant rotation of front vocals really gave the upbeat group an edge and sense of musical versatility that many bands lack. Keating charmed the crowd with his dream-like falsetto whilst Wilder’s worldly gospel wail instils a sense of his Indian/South Asian heritage.
Yeasayer undeniably confound the barriers of pop music with their synth modulation coupled with electric guitars, percussion and a drum rhythm that emulates a South American carnival sound, especially in the track Mondegreen. You cannot help but surrender to their deadpan discotopia.
They’ve been exploring Australia on the Laneways Festival tour and of Sydney the ever so amiable Chris Keating had this to say: “Everyday you guys live in paradise; the weather, the beach, the food and the people are all beautiful… and for that I’m very pissed off at you!” Naturally this triggered a roar of appraisal from the elated crowd.
They delivered a solid thread of dance-friendly songs from both the debut album All Hour Cymbals and their latest offering Odd Blood. My only criticism is that Yeasayer’s set list could have been more tactically arranged. Whilst it made a consistent progression in the direction of more energetic tracks like Mad Redder and Sunrise, the performance seemed to plateau towards the conclusion with the likes of 2080. The band played psych-disco hit O.N.E prematurely, even realizing this themselves after it was remarkably received by the dance aficionados in the mosh pit and Keating admitted, “Wow… we probably should have played that one last!” I certainly agree with him there but judging from the crowd’s ecstatic feedback, Ambling Alp seemed to suffice as a set closer in the end.
These Brooklynites effortlessly ooze ‘cool’ through their hipster clothing, confident stage presence and quirky crowd interaction and I for one never could have predicted such a phenomenal performance from a band that garners comparison to all the other synthy psych-pop outfits out there like MGMT. Yeasayer? I Say Yea!