Yeasayer Heats Up Nelson Arena
What: MCAB’s big Fall concert– Brooklyn indie band Yeasayer featuring Dom.
When/Where: Saturday, November 13th at the Nelson Arena (the tennis courts where Winter Carnival Ball was last year).
Good: Many people hadn’t arrived yet when the Worcester, Mass group took the stage, but Dom had good energy to complement their shaggy hair and ironic-thrift-store-hipster image. They created an original sound, mixing electro-pop melodies with noisy guitar riffs.
Bad: Their beats fell right on the line between awkward swaying and dancing, making it hard to know what to do with yourself in the crowd.
Good: Yeasayer has been making some of the most interesting music out there right now. It’s creative but still accessible; catchy while staying sophisticated. Their sound is a mixture of tribal pop, electronic and rock; sort of a fusion between MGMT and the Talking Heads. The concert struck a very good balance between upbeat songs that were good to dance to and a few introspective experimental songs. The concert ended with a bang as Yeasayer wailed “Ambling Alp,” the hit song off their most recent album Odd Blood released last February.
The most pleasant surprise was the band’s engagement with the crowd. They seemed happy and excited to be at Midd, unlike previous bigger name bands such as the Roots and Kid Cudi. They had the crowd chanting and clapping and the in between song banter was funny and gracious, for example thanking Middlebury for letting them perform in Vermont for the first time ever, and noting the interesting “Area-51”-esque venue (Nelson Arena).
Bad: Too many people didn’t come to the concert because they had never heard of Yeasayer. MCAB chose a less mainstream band than those chosen in past years for their big concerst, and despite their aggressive advertising, many didn’t buy tickets for lack of familiarity with the music. As a result, the space was kind of cavernous, I think the concert was better suited for the McCullough Social Space.
Please comment with your thoughts on the concert, the venue, MCAB’s choice for the Fall concert, or anything else.