Yeasayer/Tanlines @ Guggenheim Museum, NYC 10/30/09
On the same day they unleashed the rather awesome “Ambling Alp” MP3, Yeasayer headlined the latest installment of the Guggenheim museum’s It Came From Brooklyn series. Opening were Tanlines (the Brooklyn production/guitar/vocal duo who moonlighted as Glasser’s backing band at our CMJ party), and the event was emceed by fast-rising and quicker thinking BK comic Max Silvestri (who hosted last year’s Gummy Awards Live), so needless to say Stereogum was there.
When Anand Wilder gave us a Progress Report, he noted that people think Yeasayer “is much better live and has more energy. But for us it’s about getting a recording we’re happy with and then replicating that in a live setting, but making the two things very distinct.” “Ambling Alp” was the only real basis for comparison as the rest of Odd Blood isn’t due for some months yet, but that soundbite played out: there were no horns and no IDM pitstops, but the track’s skyward weirdo-pop rang clearly, and despite the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed rotunda’s occasional echo chamber effect. The set was split in two, opening with a six-song sweep of post-All Hour Cymbals material (including the Dark Was The Night triumph “Tightrope“; many fronted by Anand) before closing on five from their debut, including the jams everyone came to see: “Wait For The Summer,” “2080,” and “Sunrise.” Some of the finer points of the new album’s polyglot pop were lost inside the gallery’s spiraled hallways, but the “2080” chants sounded like they were written to bounce off of those marbled floors, even if the idea of indie rock inside such a high-art hall still sometimes feels like playing dress up in your dad’s locked closet.
There was a light show of sorts, too: The crowd was handed perception bending glasses upon arrival, which the band explained were not 3-D glasses (the world is already in 3-D, dudes) but were intended to react with a series of light-globes and to “split red and green so you enter into a single continuity.” (Don’t ask me.) Between that, and the Kandinsky exhibit which was open to the crowd so long as they weren’t wearing those glasses (having a drunk Yeasayer fan tripping over the higher level’s banisters and plummeting to their death would be a decidedly bad look for a very good looking museum), and a sneak peek at an album that sounds like it’ll be all anyone’s talking about the week it leaks, consider it the best Friday night we’ve had at least since sitting with Doveman and Sean Lennon in a Chelsea loft.
Check the photos from Santiago Felipe, and here’s how the Yeasayer set played out:
01 “The Children”
03 “Ambling Alp”
04 “Madder Red”
05 “I Remember”
07 “Many Waves”
08 “Red Cave”
09 “Wait For The Summer”
The band’s been doing some of those songs for awhile now — check these live vids.