×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Pete Yorn/Grandaddy

His songs may be emotionally opaque, but Pete Yorn is quite clear about one thing: He doesn't want to be lumped in with the current waves of sensitive singer-songwriters. At the Wiltern Theater Thursday night, Yorn and his band applied thick coats of blaring guitar and thumping drums over his sleepy melodies.

With:
Bands: PY: Yorn, Luke Adams, Terry Borden, Joe Kennedy, Jason Johnson; G: Jason Lytle, Kevin Garcia, Aaron Burtch, Jim Fairchild, Tim Dryden. Also appearing: Year of the Rabbit.

His songs may be emotionally opaque, but Pete Yorn is quite clear about one thing: He doesn’t want to be lumped in with the current waves of sensitive singer-songwriters. His two Columbia albums, 2001’s “Musicforthemorningafter” and the current “Day I Forgot,” are filled with pleasant, eminently hummable folk rock, but at the Wiltern Theater Thursday night — the first of two shows — Yorn and his band applied thick coats of blaring guitar and thumping drums over his sleepy melodies. But his obsession with being taken seriously as a rocker obscures the brittle charms of his albums.

It basically turns Yorn into the lead singer for a bar band, and his modest-to-the-point-of-diffidence stage presence isn’t up to the task. It also robs the songs of their dynamics, reducing them to two modes — either coy seduction or oblique kissoff — so that only his cover of the Ramones’ “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” and a gleeful bashing through the goofy “Burrito” break through. Making the biggest impression in the end are the details: the guitar line from David Bowie’s “Heroes” that snakes through “Come Back Home” and the way that “Crystal Village” scruffs up the melody of Cat Stevens’ “Father and Son.” He may make the case that he’s no folkie, but Yorn has yet to figure out just what he should be.

Opening act Grandaddy suffers from no such identity crisis. The Modesto, Calif., quintet writes and performs music that is as idiosyncratic and identifiable as a fingerprint. On “Sumday” (V2) the band takes perfectly good pop songs and leaves them out in the yard, allowing their colors to fade and hinges to rust into music that is creakily beautiful, turning the layers of guitars and keyboards woozy and off-kilter, like a satellite about to decay out of its orbit.

Pete Yorn/Grandaddy

Wiltern Theater; 2,000 capacity; $29

Production: Presented by AT&T Wireless. reviewed May 29, 2003, closed May 30.

Cast: Bands: PY: Yorn, Luke Adams, Terry Borden, Joe Kennedy, Jason Johnson; G: Jason Lytle, Kevin Garcia, Aaron Burtch, Jim Fairchild, Tim Dryden. Also appearing: Year of the Rabbit.

More Music

  • Soulja Boy Drake Tyga

    Soulja Boy Vs. Drake and Tyga: 'Breakfast Club' Co-Host Breaks Down the Feud (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Tyga…. TYGA? TYGA???” Soulja Boy’s recent interview on New York radio show “The Breakfast Club” included this meme-worthy line. Barely 24 hours after sitting down with Power 105.1 hosts DJ Envy, Angela Yee and Charlamagne Tha God, the clip has logged over 4 million views, roughly the same amount of followers Soulja has on Instagram. [...]

  • Mariah Carey All I Want for

    Mariah Carey's Assistant Claims She Was Urinated On and Called a 'Whore'

    Mariah Carey’s former assistant claims in a new lawsuit that she was subjected to physical and sexual abuse, which included being called a “whore” and being urinated on. Lianna Shakhnazaryan filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court, claiming she was tormented by Carey’s manager, Stella Bulochnikov. According to the suit, Bulochnikov slapped her buttocks and [...]

  • Bishop Briggs

    Bishop Briggs, Blackwave Among Winners of Inaugural Music Moves Europe Awards

    Emergent artists from across the EU are in Groningen this week to play showcases for music festival bookers, and several award shows took place Wednesday evening to toast top talent. Accordingly, bands were on hand from all corners of the European Union to collect prizes (and grant money) that will further careers. The Music Moves [...]

  • Phil McIntyre Steps Down as Roc

    Phil McIntyre Steps Down From Roc Nation Management, but Remains Affiliated With Company

    Phil McIntyre has stepped down as president of Roc Nation Management, but his PhilyMack management company remains affiliated with Roc, a source close to the situation tells Variety. PhilyMack, which McIntyre founded in 2006, partnered with Roc Nation in 2015. The source stressed that McIntyre’s role at Roc Nation Management  — whose clients include Rihanna, [...]

  • Miley Cyrus performs during the "I

    Metallica, Miley Cyrus and a Reunited Soundgarden Pay Tribute to Chris Cornell

    Metallica, Foo Fighters, Miley Cyrus and Maroon 5’s Adam Levine headlined an all-star lineup honoring the late Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell at a mammoth five-hour tribute concert in Los Angeles Wednesday. Mixing rock n’ roll with elements of pop, punk and stripped-down acoustics, the sold-out event was a journey through Cornell’s decades-long career and a [...]

  • Hikaru Utada to Perform 'Kingdom Hearts'

    Hikaru Utada to Perform 'Kingdom Hearts' Songs in PlayStation VR

    PlayStation VR owners can catch a special performance from Japanese-American singer-songwriter Hikaru Utada starting on Friday, Jan. 18, according to the PlayStation Blog. Filmed at the Yokohama Arena, the “Hikaru Utada Laughter in the Dark Tour 2018 – ‘Hikari’ & ‘Chikai’ – VR” features two songs from the “Kingdom Hearts” franchise — “Simple and Clean” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content