Last Tuesday I had the privilege of seeing Yeasayer at the Phoenix Concert Theater, and it was a hell of a good show. If I had to sum the night up in one word though that word would would be “hush”. And I would say it twice because opening act, the bearded-lunatic-pervert Hush Hush, stole the show with his crazy dance moves and over-sexed lyrics.
According to his Facebook page Hush Hush is a “Berlin based R&B hit machine”, I’m not sure of the validity of that claim, but what he definitely is is serious entertainment. He took the the stage casually, dressed in ragged cut of shorts and a shirt, tie and blazer. He plugged his iPod into the PA and started playing a backing track while casually chatting to the crowd, and then BAM: He then went into some inspired dance moves and started falsetto singing along to rather typical sounding dance music. It was good, but at first the crowd didn’t quite know what to make of it other than to be wowed at his flailing limbs. Two tracks in he told us “Ok, so that’s my bad songs out of the way, it only gets better from here”, it was at about this point I started noticing the lyrics.
One of the following songs went “Girl I know your panties so wet I can see it from the look in your eyes / We don’t even have our clothes off yet but I can feel it dripping down the back of your thighs” (In fact I recorded a video of this song which you can see down at the bottom of this post). The crowd couldn’t help but giggle hysterically as each successive song got more vulgar and more perverted. Hush Hush stripped down to a loose shirt then found a white blazer which he wore over one shoulder while putting his black blazer back on the other and sporting multiple pairs of sunglasses. At around this point a bass heavy backing track kicked in with lyrics that went “Pumping on my face, pumping on my face / licking at that pussy core, licking at that pussy”. It was so absurd that even he wouldn’t keep a straight face and about a minute and a half in he started chuckling and had to stop the song and move on to the next track.
By the end of his set he was down to just his torn up jean shorts wearing a giant silver bling necklace and a regal red robe with ‘Hush Hush” emblazoned on the back. I can’t remember the last time I’ve been so blown away by an unknown act at a show. In short it was brilliant and if you ever get the chance to see this guy perform you MUST go.
Following Hush Hush were young Chicago lads Smith Westerns, and they really had a tough act to follow. The first thing I noticed about this band was how young all the members looked. I would guess they were all still teenagers. Their young age showed through in the live set as, unlike the opening act, they weren’t confident performers who demanded stage presence. In between songs the singer mumbled inaudibly into the microphone and the crowd waited awkwardly for the next song to begin. Stage presence aside, the music was great. They played a mellow brand of chilled out 60’s influenced rock, and the lead guitarist in particular had some cool (in the blues sense) guitar solos. With a bit more stage experience these guys could be really great.
Finally Yeasayer were up, and as the slightly off-kilter intro to The Children played through the PA they took the stage and then blasted into Madder Red under a blaze of flashing stage lights. From there the band didn’t let up and played a great mix of songs from Odd Blood (2007) and All Hour Symbols (2010) and a couple of new numbers thrown in for good measure. As a live band they were fantastic; they sounded super tight and were full of energy and passion. The crowd couldn’t help but sing and dance along. I don’t really have much else to say about these guys other than if you even slightly like their music you owe it to yourself to catch them live next time they tour nearby. If you need more convincing check out the videos I recorded at the show for One, Ambling Alp, and new song Henrietta at the bottom of this post or on my YouTube channel. You can also see a couple more photos from the show on my Flickr.
Intro. The Children
1. Madder Red
3. Henrietta (New Song)
5. Devil and the Deed (New Song)
8. Wait For The Summer
11. Ambling Alp
1. Demon Road (New Song)