By Cody Kenner
November 9 at The Sinclair may very well have been one of the danciest nights of the year. The source of this dance fever was, of course, YACHT, but it would be disingenuous to say that their opener did not have a hand in spectacularly kicking off the evening.
Generally, one doesn’t expect too much out of an opening act. In the case of YACHT’s opener, Larry Gus, however, all expectations were greatly exceeded. Gus, a Greek immigrant with a charming personality, started off his set with a bass-thumping, discordant, loop-heavy dance anthem, and for the next hour continued to churn out infectious beats. Gus’ vocals were a mix of Greek folk music crooning and atonal punk yelling, and his stage antics emulated every bit of the intensity of his voice. As he chanted wildly on top of looped sounds, Gus danced around fervently, sometimes beating primally on his single tom-tom drum or pounding on the stage, even pulling his shirt over his head. Often, he would spontaneously run off the stage to dance with the audience. The passion behind Gus’ music was palpable and quickly spread like contagion across the audience. When it came time for Gus’ set to come to an end, he was endlessly cheerful and endlessly thankful for his audience, as were they for him.
And though everyone was pleasantly surprised by the driving, hip-shaking force that was Gus, it was YACHT that the crowd had come to see. When the house lights went down and the red and white stage lights went up, the noise of the room immediately transformed from casual chatter into concerted, excited cheering. Preceding the band members was HAL 9000’s classic rendition of “Daisy, Daisy,” a humorous bit fitting of YACHT’s futuristic image. Then HAL 9000 died out, and vocalist Claire Evans, a sort of Annie Lennox-esque figure in a black pantsuit came onstage. Following her were musicians Jona Bechtolt and Rob Kieswetter, who immediately went to work summoning futuristic beats. Evans snapped out lyrics in a sort of Talking Heads/Expressionist manner and danced around the stage confidently, entangling herself in the long red cord of her microphone. “I Thought the Future Would Be Cooler,” she sang, and for the next hour of listeners’ lives, they would indeed feel considerably cooler.
YACHT continued the concert with a similar body-possessing energy, regardless of whether Evans was singing about endless sex (“I Wanna Fuck You Till I’m Dead”), living as a hologram (“Hologram”), or the end of the world (“Dystopia”). Between songs, Evans and Bechtolt would make casual witty banter, with Bechtolt jokingly reprimanding Evans for calling the audience “suckers,” or Evans asking the audience if they wanted to hear more songs about lovemaking. At one point, Evans even stopped the concert on account of a ringing phone, which turned out to be her own large, red corded phone, and then cleverly segued into a dancy number aptly titled “Ringtone.” The concert never lost its pace, and by the end, it seemed as if time had flown by astonishingly fast. Thankfully, however, the audience demanded an encore, and so the band returned to the stage (Bechtolt: “What do you guys want from us? We were just chilling out backstage!”) to perform “Psychic City (Voodoo City),” fueling the audience with enough foot-tapping energy to dance all the way back home.