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Yacht At Make Music Pasadena, Saturday June 1st 2013

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Yacht

I arrived a little late for Yacht’s performance at Make Music Pasadena (traffic and parking were a nightmare!) but I could hear them as I was walking toward the stage,… they had just started their dynamo sweaty set, and frontwoman Claire Evans was already vamping her mic, balancing her arms, taking some pauses, then getting reading for a crowd bath while not even interrupting her singing. She was, as the rest of the band, so high in energy despite the heat, that it was totally impressive.

The whole time, they were high on beats, funky mad crazy beats, of course totally danceable beats, which were intensifying themselves throughout the songs, whereas Claire Evans was moving like a maniac without even sweating…. I mean, at the end of their set, she looked as fresh as before in her black and white outfit. Her bold presence on stage was attracting everyone’s attention, and she was not totally singing, rather talking-singing during ‘Paradise Engineering’ which immediately reminded me David Byrne’s style in ‘Once in a Lifetime’… wow good sign!

Between songs, Claire Evans and Jona Bechtolt, the core of Yacht, were talking a lot to the crowd, and she even improvised a Q&A at one point; all this interaction with people seemed to be their strength and style, they were one of the most social music duo I had ever seen, and everyone seemed to appreciate while taking a break from the mad dancing in the meantime.

I didn’t get all the half-spoken-half-sung lyrics at once, but there was evidently something heavy going on there, even though it was done in a dance floor ambiance that LCD Soundsystem would have totally embraced. Yeah, not really your average lyrics, but rather discussing the cosmos or the expanding universe, God’s existence or doom day (‘The Earth is on fire/we don’t have a daughter/let the motherfucker burn’) and song titles such as ‘Paradise Engineering’, ‘Dystopia’, ‘Utopia’,… these guys were deeply thinking about modern science, life, death, art!! I read that Claire is even writing a science blog, so these charismatic people were also clever? I wasn’t paying too much attention to the lyrics first, because everyone were having so much fun, and the band seemed to have a humoristic and playful attitude, but when I think about it now, they were singing stuff like ‘Think fondly about life/But still think strongly about death’ (‘Utopia’)… Sorry I was new to this Yacht thing!

Their impulsive, lively and personalized show got me completely intrigued, they ended up with the steamy drum-synth-laser-jungle of ‘You Can Live Anywhere You Want‘, and Evans was like a disco-rock queen, a sort of Devo-meets-Karen-O (or rather a young Annie Lennox because of the short hair and the slight androgynous look) on a mission, and even though I knew and still don’t know exactly what this mission was about, I got convinced!


Setlist

Women of the World
Paradise Engineering
I Walked Alone
Summer Song
The Afterlife
Psychic City
Second Summer (followed by a short Q&A)
Dystopia
Utopia/ You can live anywhere you want/Utopia

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