May 10: Yelle

Photo courtesy of Max Winkler
The following concert review has been provided by guest columnist Kellen O'Brien. To "boom" out the experience, please see the embedded video and streaming player featuring Yelle's newest album Safari Disco Club. Enjoy! - Nate

It doesn’t matter if you appreciate or have even heard her music, if you like to dance, you will have a fantastic time at a Yelle concert. With the stomp of a drum circle, but the nostalgic spectacle of a late 80’s rave, the three-member band electrified May 10th’s Bluebird crowd from their entrance to their encore.

After a few hours imbibing on my balcony, my friends and I showed up at the Bluebird near the beginning of French Horn Rebellion’s set, a rare instance of me making it for a blind date opener. The laptop-focused duo carried on quite admirably, although their proclamation, “stick around for Yelle” was completely unnecessary.

Yelle came out at 10 for a sixty-minute show that seemed much longer. Yelle—the name of the French female lead singer and her band—was flanked by a pair of gentleman sporting keyboards and drums.  During the first song, Yelle kept her upper body hidden behind a large costume that made her look like rain forest flora. Through this, she cooed into the microphone as her playmates looped spiraling bass and synth beats. Sweaty dancing ensued.

Photo courtesy of Max Winkler
Safari Disco Club, Yelle’s most recent album, stands out because its cover both spoofs Devo and mimics Bjork. However, those two sensibilities only begin to describe Yelle’s package. Lykke Li fronting Hot Chip. Madonna and Jerry Harrison. Yelle’s sound is a lot like James Murphy lyrics. The many working parts to their sound could lead to an inconsistent live performance, but it hummed along last night. The band’s chemistry—they are having legitimate, blissful fun onstage—is the lubricant to make this complicated formula glide like a jaguar.

My favorite moments were the sharp breaks: drum heavy, hip hop styled, and propulsive enough to ensure that the pace never became stale, these breaks dove as easily into three member percussive jams as into glittering electronica sprints. For this, and many other reasons everyone in my group had a stellar time last night. There’s nothing better (on a Tuesday) than a Tuesday night dance party.

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