Last Thursday’s show at Beckham Hall, which featured Movement, the Postelles and Yeasayer, was the object of the sort of anticipation everybody can feel in their bones—fans crowded the doors of the hall long before the show was scheduled to start. At approximately 10 p.m., the doors burst open and hordes of zealous students poured in, running as close to the stage as they could and dancing like teenyboppers to the smart, snarky tones of Movement, whose set only got funkier and more relaxed as it progressed.
This all transitioned nicely into the more poppy, more earnestly energetic sounds of the Postelles, whose harmonies evoke the Kooks but whose quick surges of electric guitar add a harder edge. Of particular note was a cover they did of the Ramones’ “Beat on the Brat,” which, with more tune and tact than the original, captured perfectly this band’s engagement with the classic New York punk sound.
When Yeasayer took the stage, though, even the lighting crew honored the group of ascending indie-rock kings—albeit kings who, just a few minutes earlier, were hanging out by the merch table, selling records and t-shirts and chatting with fans—by manipulating the psychedelic paper-lantern-esque globe lights around the stage so they flashed different colors.
Yeasayer started with one of their new songs from their upcoming album “Odd Blood,” which showcased the “watery samples” that have led one Stereogum commenter to reductively describe the band’s recent sound as “poor man’s Animal Collective.” Whatever its future title, this song inspired much more than yet another comparison to the venerable experiment group. It was an abrasive tour-de-force of electronic eclecticism, with even lead singer Chris Keating’s voice floating under the fog of a voice-deepening modulator.
The exciting reworkings of more familiar songs that followed suggested that the band is closing in on its original creative vision of danceable, exciting Middle Eastern-influenced dreamscapes. Particularly memorable was a sexed-up version of “Worms,” from their first album All Hour Cymbals, that confined the song’s hookah smoke-tinged guitar licks, which originally wafted throughout the song, to shorter, more tense breaks. Guys grabbed girls, girls grabbed guys, guys grabbed guys… and a large contingency started grinding.
Other new songs incorporated influences from every currently popular branch of electronic music—even, boldly, the Looney Tune xylophones of Dan Deacon. The dancing in the crowd eventually grew more heterogeneous, with a little pushing, a little shoving and even a few crowd-surfers, but the crowd was generally packed too close together to be anything other than a closely-packed cluster of peace, love and mildly sexual dancing. The band did not acquiesce to demands of “one more song!” but, to be fair, they had played almost their entire body of recorded work by the end of the show, even the relatively obscure “Tightrope.” The show ended even earlier than expected (around midnight), and tones of mild complaint were heard, but the night was young, and so both the entertainers and the entertained ventured on.