Concert Review: Yeasayer at Skully's

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

After the jump, a few brief thoughts on Yeasayer at Skully's last night...

I arrived late, just in time for the headliners, so I didn't see the ballyhooed Lovvers (which bums me out) or the harrowing Ponytail (which I'm quite alright with after witnessing them at SXSW). Thanks to my festival-going over the past few years, this was my fourth time seeing Yeasayer and my second time seeing them with Columbus dude Ahmed Gallab aka Sinkane in the band. It was also probably my favorite.

As mentioned earlier this week, Gallab brings some cool stage presence and much-needed percussive presence to the band, but this show had more going for it than hometown pride. The band is beginning to venture out of its Genesis-shaped box, and it's yielding some invigorating results.

Case in point: Much of the new material sounded less like artsy, indulgent prog rock and more like the New Wave pop of Flock of Seagulls and Duran Duran. Some listeners might find that taste worth spitting out like lukewarm water — one fan remarked, "This is worse than Animal Collective" — but the '80s-style pop was a good fit, a natural progression. In the other direction, during the encore, the band unveiled a dark, heavy beast of a song that strained my patience at first but eventually trumped anything else they played all night.

The verdict: No more jokes about "Mehsayer."