Yeasayer @ ABC

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Mary Machin

Yeasayer/Suckers at O2 ABC Academy 24/10/10

Yeasayer: Image by Jason Frank Rothenberg

Yeasayer’s second album, Odd Blood was released earlier this year to great acclaim, and looking back to before the record’s release is odd indeed because now it’s hard to imagine life without it. The same is true when looking back to times before this evening’s gig, because Yeasayer’s live intensity is astounding and hard to forget.

Opening band, Suckers are fellow Brooklyn residents of Yeasayer and retain some of their headline act’s dexterity within their melodies. Vocally, the quartet harmonise to their heart’s content, providing a gripping spectacle. Quinn’s falsetto is particularly pleasing, it has to be said. Suckers are additionally one of those bands who have no roles, swapping instruments at several points during the evening, it’s hard to tell who’s the “frontman” character within the group, something extremely refreshing for this spectator.

Opening with recent single ‘Madder Red’, Yeasayer’s live discipline wows more so than on hearing the song on record and it’s easy to tell this will be more than just your average gig. With every component of the song turned all the way up, it’s hard to miss a note or beat and the set easily runs into ‘Wait for the Summer’, reflecting the development from record to record without a moment’s hesitation from the band. The set is also a feast for the eyes, using a wide variation of lighting methods, and at one point the venue’s massive glitter ball, to accentuate the music’s lucidity and depth. Audience favourites of the evening would be easy to guess and include ‘Sunrise’, ‘O.N.E.’ and ‘Ambling Alp’. ‘2080’ is one number Yeasayer set aside for the expected encore, which the crowd inevitably go berserk over. It would be extremely surprising if they hadn’t.

As much as I love Yeasayer’s recorded material, it’s easy for me to say, their live music is so, so much better. They are a band who know how to remain faithful to their albums, but at the same time emphasise the music in the right way to make it enticing in live format for listeners new and old.


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