Having transformed themselves into a highly entertaining live unit from blogosphere buzz band, Gotham indie rock quintet Clap Your Hands Say Yeah has honed their chops and become a much tighter performing outfit. A sophomore slump in the studio has had an opposite effect on CYHSY’s live show, which has markedly improved since their inconsistent early performances.
Taking place in front of projected B&W footage of an ant farm, the band’s 80-minute set Tuesday got off to a slow start. It eventually picked up steam and finally rocketed into the stratosphere during a three-song encore. Their sloppy, poppy indie rock proved infectious at this perf, the first of three sold-out nights at the Troubadour.
High-pitched singer-lyricist Alec Ounsworth apes David Byrne’s spastic vocal delivery and his often abstract lyrics have little in common with some of his heart-on-their-sleeve contemporaries. And while not a typical rock star material, Ounsworth is a magnetic performer.
Highlights included the irresistibly quirky “Is This Love?,” the driving “The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth” and the recent single “Satan Said Dance,” which proved to be a crowd favorite.
Openers Elvis Perkins in Dearland play a folksier brand of indie rock, but their casual DIY ethic fit in nicely with the headliners.