Review: ‘Yeasayer’

Fest favorite attracted 600 patrons to the L.A. Natural History Museum's Mammoth Hall.

In their only Los Angeles performance before embarking on a European tour to support their latest LP, “Odd Blood,” out Tuesday, Yeasayer — a fest favorite since garnering critical acclaim at South by South West in 2007 — attracted 600 patrons to the L.A. Natural History Museum’s Mammoth Hall, an SRO show that forced many outside the showroom to watch from afar.

With pre-sale tickets snatched up days in advance, the number of ticket holders on Friday exceeded the L.A. Fire Department’s limitations on room capacity.

The venue, with its colorful animal dioramas, was anything but traditional — apropos for a band inspired by the rhythms and music of the Middle East and Africa, and prone to running the stylistic gamut from late ’60s psychedelia to a melange of late ’80s/early ’90s influences (think George Harrison with a sitar, Duran Duran, Genesis and late work of Depeche Mode).

With an arsenal of guitars, bass, drums and keyboards, Yeasayer covered relatively expansive musical territory. This curious crossbreeding and intermingling of periods and styles held its own fascination, making up for occasional moments of intrusive feedback during the show, most notably throughout the second song of the evening, “Madder Red.” Technical glitches continued until, just before launching into its ninth song of the set, “O.N.E.,” the band announced that their monitors were down and they were “flying blind” on the hardly visible stage.

Despite such setbacks, the group’s daring is not without its charm, choosing to remix most of its work without compromising the rare ambient flair for which its known.

Favoring their new album, Yeasayer plowed through 11 tracks with little talk and no encore. They’ll complete the North American leg of their tour beginning in April, returning to California for Coachella April 16. Also appearing at New York ‘s Bowery Ballroom on Feb. 8.


L.A. Natural History Museum; 600 seats


Event by Los Angeles Natural History Museum. Show reviewed on Friday, Feb. 6


Band members: Anand Wilder, Chris Keating, Ira Wolf Tuton, Luke Fasano
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