Yeasayer @ 9:30 Club [DC] - 7/12/2019

Yeasayer made the penultimate stop of their Erotic Reruns tour at friendly and familiar 9:30 Club, where the band recorded a live album in 2012. Two out of three members are Mid-Atlantic locals, with Anand Wilder (vocals and guitar) and Chris Keating (vocals and synth) meeting in high school in Baltimore. They traded DMV references throughout the night (blue crab tattoos, Hagerstown shouts, etc.). Together, with bassist Ira Wolf Tuton, the band’s last stop after DC is their current home in New York before starting a European tour in August. 

The set spanned the breadth of their 12-year repertoire of experimental, synth-driven indie rock featuring tracks like “Madder Red” from their breakout album, 2010’s Odd Blood, and “Henrietta” from 2011’s Fragrant World, which opened the night. 

Yeasayer at 9:30 Club in DC (Photo by Joel Richard)

Yeasayer at 9:30 Club in DC (Photo by Joel Richard)

“Fluttering in the Flood Lights,” “Ecstatic Baby,” and “24-Hour Hateful Live!” were the notable highlights from Reruns, the latter of which was wryly tagged as a “makeout song” by Keating. The song is the most topical and political of anything they’ve done, calling out President Trump’s EPA Administrator, immigration adviser, and press secretary all by name. The grim heft of their criticism of kids in cages was balanced with back-catalog “songs about nothing,” in Keating’s words. Do lines like “ICE to ISIS, migrant crisis/ Gleeful cruelty at the top/ Endless shootings, venal or stupid/ Con men on the nuclear clock” ruin a dance party? Apparently not.

Steady Holiday opened the show with Dre Babinski alternating between guitar and violin in a gently haunting and atmospheric set.


Photos by Joel Richard


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