Brooklyn based Yeasayer started the US leg of their tour this weekend at a packed 930 Club in DC. And they put on a phenomenal show. They were tight, but relaxed, disco-y and ridiculously catchy at times, while still engrossingly weird; it was the best show I’ve been to in a while. And also one of the loudest. With a body-shaking synth beat, they were fond of occasionally drowning out some of the finer points of our favorite songs. But maybe I was just standing too close. Towards the end, Chris Keating briefly mocked the Tea Party movement, before he (unnecessarily) back pedaled and said it was cool if you were into that stuff, and quickly started the next song. The group was, however, decidedly in support of heavy beats and an epic show.
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With the one-hour show well underway, Matt Johnson shouted from the stage, “Wednesday night Delaware dance party. Lets [expletive] do this!”. Sure enough, the happy crowd obliged, dancing along, waving their arms and crowd surfing to the energetic dance rock of Brooklyn duo Matt & Kim.
Matt & Kim’s 2010 Spring college and festival tour began at the University of Delaware’s Trabant University Center, and was, in fact, their first time playing in Delaware. The campus room/venue quickly turned into a sauna with the 980-person capacity crowd, the majority of whom were fairly young. And not university young. I mean younger than UD students in attendance. Kim Schifino even felt the need to apologize as she hoped to refrain from further profanity and vulgarity after she realized some small children were in the audience. But not even the simmering heat and stuffiness of the room could keep everyone from looking completely immersed.
Caetano Veloso sings with his hands. When not strumming diminished seventh chords, his arms and hands are continually gesticulating, like a Bill T. Jones interpretive dance accompanying each song. Thursday night at Terminal 5, Veloso’s arms were most often extended with palms out, an open embrace of the warehouse-like venue and its not-quite capacity crowd. But he’d also embrace himself, toss his arms in the air, twirl his hands like twisting helixes, or walk like an Egyptian. It seemed like he really just wanted to lift off in the hang-glider that served as a backdrop behind him and his three-piece band.
Though jazz trio the Bad Plus have made a name for themselves playing innovative covers of popular music (i.e. Radiohead’s “Karma Police” and Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”) such tunes are merely a drop in their sea of sounds. Wednesday’s early set at New York’s hallowed Blue Note found the group—that is, Ethan Iverson, piano; Reid Anderson, bass; and Dave King, drums—in their element and exploring all aspects of their original compositions.
On tour to promote his new album, True Devotion, it was Votolato’s first visit to Toronto since 2007. The Texas-born singer explained that since his last visit he had been on “a spiritual journey” to find himself and get back to what mattered most: the music. True Devotion is the product of that journey.