Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Show review: Young Man, Yawn at Schubas, 10/12

Posted by Andrew

Young Man
Despite a less than stellar turnout, two Chicago groups gave it their best at Schubas last night.

With the four members of Yawn lined up in a row at the front of the stage, the collective sound of their EP translated visually; the myth of the leading man evaporated into the textured sounds the band created. With instrument swapping and layered vocals and percussion, Yawn reminded us of what is meant by the word "band." Particularly impressive was their ability to transcend the studio tricks and pull off a live sound reminiscent of their recorded material. Equal parts melodic and rhythmic, using instruments and samples alike, Yawn could only have picked the verb for their namesake ironically. Playful leads over tribal beats set the general tone before set closer "David" showed off their ability to convey noise and screams as a euphoric release of tension. What could easily take an entire chorus and drum circle was accomplished by four guys on a small stage on Belmont Ave.

Headliner Young Man, celebrating a record release, closed with a bittersweet set. With tunes that would have been more appropriate for a setting sun on an early May evening, the audience was forced into the reality that these last nice days in Chicago won’t be here too much longer. That in mind, Young Man’s set savored every last above-70-degree day this city will give us. Live, it was clear that this band is not entirely dependent on brainchild Colin Caulfield, as the jazz-inflected rhythms of the tour drummer add another layer of depth hidden on their recorded tracks. Bold chord choices reflected a hazy Sondre Lerche if he were to settle down in the Midwest. I’m reluctant to call the music ‘chill,’ but it is certainly relaxed and comfortable. More appropriate for a road trip headed east as opposed to bumming around a SoCal beach. There is a certain nostalgic factor, but more so derived from the apprehension of growing up as opposed to a strict desire to perpetuate youth. The band also elicited a greater energy live than recorded, recalling guitar-based rock from the 50s and 60s without sounding retro. A cover of “All Tomorrow’s Parties” was especially poignant: a song from an era past played at the present about the future. To say the least, change over time is important for Young Man, and we hope to see the band continually evolve.

Next up, Young Man travels to New York for a slew of CMJ shows in support of just released EP Boy, out now on Frenchkiss Records. Yawn is currently recording for an album due out next spring, with a five song EP (and remix EP) available for free at their website.

1 comment:

  1. Wish I could've been there to hear that cover