Yelle w/ Casxio and We are the World – [Live]

Friday, 27 March 2009

We are the World opens the night and these guys were on a whole level that I wasn’t ready for. I’m not sure if that was clear enough. Imagine you tell your mother you’re taking her to “Shrek the Musical,” and instead you take her to a Marilyn Manson concert. What you just said is what I said when the curtain opened. A group of four (Robbie Williams [the beat], Ryan Heffington [costume and dance], Megan Gold [lyrics] and Nina McNeely [dance]) rocking out harder than Green Day in 1999 is opening for Yelle? Sure, why the hell not. The outfits themselves had enough personality to shock you without the music. From top down the outfit went clockwork orange black bowler cap, dreadlocks covering a mask which covers the face, on top of a red bow scarf/bowtie wrapped around an oversized white tux shirt with black suspenders and black pants. The artists were also armed with flashlights, which would violently beat each other with the light that exuded from it. Their extreme arm movements shock you with their display of violence, throwing band members and pushing them to the floor. We are the World knows how to put on a show. Robbie Williams was on the drums while everyone else danced, sang and moved to the dark gritty beat that the band is built around. The wildest part of the set was watching them pull out a white cloth blocking the entire stage between the audience and the artists. Behind it they would show the silhouette of Megan and the rest of the artists with their flashlights. They did a fantastic job of drawing the blood of the crowd to ensure that they would be fully ready for them to finish the set as well as for the artists to come. They have an angry and somber undertone that can only be described as the threesome-love-child of Rammstein, Rianna and jungle beats. If you computed the actual outcome of that lovechild, you probably hit the nail on the head on what I was experiencing. It’s definitely something to look forward to if you ever get to see them. Just make sure you don’t try to classify it as dance or a concert. Consider it as absorbing people who represent the darker side of the world.

Having the band Casxio follow We are the World took me for another spin. I was not expecting what most people would consider a normal show after what I had just seen. When Casxio came out from behind the curtain I was a little baffled from the look of the band. Lead singer Lucas Guerin was well dressed with his bass guitar, Eric Saez, the second singer, with an electric guitar, Zach Schrock on the drums and Andrea Choe, a cute little Asian girl on the keyboards. Casxio, dedicated to doing nothing but keeping it real with the music by having nothing manufactured beat wise, or on vinyl, did just that. We would feel the wrath of Andrea’s cuteness after the first few songs. The vibe of Casxio was on a higher level than what I was expecting. The lead singer carried a ton of emotion with every song and had a strong Michael Jackson meets Jack Johnson vibe. If you have a chance to visit their MySpace page, the music doesn’t compare to what was given to us that night. The words of the music were very easy to follow and truly felt like music that should be played on the radio rather then what we normally get from the corporate conglomerates. After “Seventeen” and another song Lucas broke one of the strings off his bass and we were left music-less for almost fifteen minutes. In that time the second guitarist spoke to us a little and made us sing “Happy Birthday” to his good friend. This is the thing about the El Rey. It's so small and emotional you get this simple personal connection with each of the artists that come on stage. Once the string was fixed we rocked out to Casxio's final song, a “Billie Jean” rock cover. It was actually quite amazing to say the least.

Finally it was time for Yelle. A three-person group composed of Julie Budet (singer), GrandMarnier (drums) and Tepr (keyboard/digi drums). Before the band came on stage we fought our way up front to be able to get a great view. Oddly enough instead of the curtains going back they had someone introduce them: Perez Hilton. On the “that was unexpected” list of things that happen in my life, Perez was about a 9.8. His intro was short, telling us how he was in love with the band and wanted all of us to enjoy the show. The curtains rolled back to Tepr and GM bringing out the beat of the first song. When Yelle came out a moment later, the entire crowd erupted with an onslaught of excited emotion that would not end for the entire night. Being at the El Rey Theatre, we had this very intimate setting that we all felt like we were watching a dear friend of ours perform in our living room. Yelle danced on stage with heart and soul, riling up the crowd with every head-bang and flailing of the arms. Both Tepr & GM were as into dancing as Yelle was. The time flew as we went through “Ce Jeu” and “A Cause Des Garçons” as well as all the tracks from Pop-up, the 2007 Release from Yelle. Her outfit, as I must note, is now something that I assume we should expect at all/most of her shows. An extremely short dress and tight-tights that allows her to dance around without a worry in the world that something may be exposed to all of us in the crowd. Also something that must be noted is Tepr’s tattoo of keyboards on both of his forearms. It was the first thing I noticed about him, and was the first time I truly felt I had found someone who had a tattoo that truly fit their lifestyle. Once Yelle finished the set they hurried off stage only to be called back out by the crowd. They did not want to let the show stop and Yelle knew that. When she came back out with the boys she was holding her hands together in the air in the shape of a heart. The crowd quickly followed suit only to respond by the same action. It was quite a memorable moment for concerts that I have been to. They played the “A Cause Des Garçons” Tepr Remix as well as a few others before running off stage. This time, they wouldn’t come out, only leaving us wanting more. Maybe so much that we were tempted to fly to SXSW to see them before they left the USA for a few years to compose their new album.


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