A collection of musically themed musings by Brendan Bush in Burlington, VT

Wrapup: Waters & Clap Your Hands Say Yeah @ La Tulipe 12/10/2011

Filed Under: Concert Reviews
Written by Brendan
Monday December 12, 2011

I made it up to Montreal on Saturday night for the first time in too long. I’ve been fairly obsessed with the new Waters album, Out In The Light, since it came out in September, and as a bonus, they opened for Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, whose latest effort Hysterical I’ve also enjoyed.

It was a wicked early show (started at 7:30p), so I can’t say that I was surprised to walk into a fairly empty venue just as Waters started playing. But it did feel really strange that only a handful of folks were on the dance floor while Waters cranked through a fairly energetic and engaging set.

Of course, that meant that I was able to stand directly in front of the stage, and even leave my beer on the floor as I walked around for a couple different camera angles.

Van Pierszalowski of Waters

I’ve finally got the aperture setting down for show photos, but I’m still having a hard time with manual focus (as auto-focus uses a beam of light to find the subject, which I assume would be incredibly annoying to the band). So while he gave me plenty of opportunities to get a great shot, this is the best I could do to capture Waters frontman (and former Port O’Brien lead singer) Van Pierszalowski’s impressive headbanging:

Van Pierszalowski of Waters

Eventually Pierszalowski was able to coax some of the more timid from the back, culminating in an acoustic rendition of “Mickey Mantle” played from the floor, with the audience leading the song’s chorus. Pretty damn cool way to end a show, and an excellent way to energize a fairly docile and uninvolved crowd for the main act.

Van Pierszalowski of Waters

Unfortunately, CYHSY did very little to continue that energy. Their music sounded great, a good mix of tunes from their debut self-titled album and their latest, with at least one tune off of their sophomore album. But they had absolutely no stage presence, putting on a performance best characterized by the look on lead singer Alec Ounsworth’s face in this shot:

It’s too bad – I really dig their new album, and hoped I’d catch a performance as energized as the first time I saw them (at Bonnaroo in 2006). But it definitely felt like they’d all taken a handful of sedatives right before taking the stage.

The best part of the night was yet to come, however. Since the show let out so early, I was also lucky enough to stumble upon a k-os performance at Club Soda. I had sadly left my camera behind, but suffice it to say k-os made up for whatever lack of energy I’d been left with from the previous show, accompanied by a break dancer and a kickass band and turntablist. k-os gave me exactly what I asked for in May of 2010 when I wrote “I hope to catch k-os again at some point, preferably playing to a much larger audience with a lot more energy.” Thanks Kevin!

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Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.

Yeasayer @ Club Soda, 6/8/2011 – Wrapup & Photos

Filed Under: Concert Reviews
Written by Brendan
Thursday June 9, 2011

I made the drive up to Montreal last night to see Yeasayer at Club Soda and left impressed by both the band and the venue. It was my first show at Club Soda, and I hope to see another there soon. The two-tiered balcony and narrow, long shape provide for great viewing areas and great sound.

The show was opened by Hush Hush. I’d rather you find out for yourself what that set was like, but let’s just say it was one of the most unique experiences I’ve had in a while. If you get the chance, catch Hush Hush live. Bring your sense of humor, and leave your political correctness at home. Smith Westerns were up next, and while I had heard really good things, their set was pretty forgettable to me.

Yeasayer @ Club Soda, Montreal

The general atmosphere of the Yeasayer set felt slightly subdued. It was tough to say if it was the energy of the crowd, the energy of the band or the combination of both, but I definitely expected a much more raucous, face melting show. Not that I’m complaining – the music was fantastic, and I’m way more into Yeasayer as a band than I was before seeing them. It just wasn’t as out of control crazy as I’d expected.

Yeasayer @ Club Soda, June 8, 2011

Their music is remarkably more instrumental than I’d previously thought – ODD BLOOD (their most recent album) sounds more electronic-driven. While there were several keyboards and a drum machine or two on stage, it was definitely the drummer who creates much of their sound, accompanied by some impressive (though not quite loud enough) electric guitar work and thick, thumping, rapid basslines.

What’s more, their two (and sometimes three) part vocal harmonies were literally perfect. Having more than one voice adds such depth to the sound, especially when they all sound so good on their own and together.

Yeasayer in Montreal at Club Soda

I’d absolutely see Yeasayer again. The songs they played off of their two albums were all mesmerizing, as were the couple of new tunes. I’m already looking forward to their next release, and hope they consider Burlington as a stop on a future tour. The trips up to Montreal definitely take a toll, and I’d be hard pressed to do it twice for the same band.

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Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.