[ed. note: I don't know how many of you know Taylor Doms, the gorgeous woman behind TheMixster.com but if you ever get the chance to meet her, you must. As obsessive as I am about live music, Taylor exceeds that enthusiasm for dance music, DJs, and electronic music. On Friday night, she went to the sold out Yelle show at the Casbah and had agreed to write a guest review. I was expecting maybe a photo and a couple paragraphs. Crazy-T went above and beyond. This is her review. The full post can be seen if you click 'keep on reading' at the bottom of this post.]
Although my social vocation in nightlife usually leads me to San Diego’s electronic dance music, Yelle, is one of those few names that's capable of pulling me away from North Park on a Friday night. Simply because, Yelle’s delightful brand of French electropop is jiggy enough to move any room. Despite the fact I don’t know/can’t pronounce 99% of her lyrics, it certainly doesn’t stop me from dancing around and singing-a-long to her addictive little tunes with my own made-up French-sounding words. And as long as she kept that cute little smile on her face she could be telling me to go lie facedown in the middle of the 8 freeway and I’d still happily bounce along to her music.. And I couldn’t have been more excited to see her “Safari Disco Club” perform live at my favorite hipster haunt for incredible live music, at The Casbah.
We strolled in around 9:15pm, what we considered early, to find the place was completely PACKED, with a reasonably-sized crowd already formed on the dance floor and totally fixated on the opening act, French Horn Rebellion. (Note: You certainly don't see this kind of early-bird enthusiasm in my "scene" unless there's free booze and hot single promoters.)
Upon first impression I thought French Horn Rebellion were just a couple of synth pop-playing, stand-in-front-of-a-strobe-light-and look-down-the-whole-time-á-la- “Miike Snow-style”- shaggy-haired-shadows. However that all changed and fairly quickly, with the on-set of “boogie dance” breaks, white boy freestyle rap attempts, and of course eponymous to their name, French horn solos.
(For more, click 'keep on reading' below.
With no lack of pitchy xylo synth lines, groovy funk rhythms, rambunctious energy, and pretty flashing lights, Milwaukee-born brothers French Horn Rebellion were an absolutely fine and English-speaking precursor to Yelle’s bubbly, experimental dance-pop. I would absolutely go out of my way to see French Horn Rebellion perform again.
Following FHR, the crowd in front of the Casbah’s stage nearly doubled in size and the temperature of the room went up at least 100 degrees upon the very first measures of heavy floor-tom rumbles by Yelle’s drummers, appropriately-clad in safari gear. Sheathed in a grimy-looking mythic sea creature gone couture concept coat, Yelle appeared and opened the show with her equally enthralling single, S'eteint le Soleil, beckoning the attention of the entire room; and proving her total crowd-wide captivation as rows upon rows of arms mimicked her every motion between builds.
If the music wasn’t enough to ascertain the attention of every individual in the crowd, I can guarantee that all eyes were endlessly fixated on sweet Yelle as soon as she shed her icky seaweed-monster coat: revealing the sexiest red leopard-print pointy shoulder-padded skin-tight cat suit – leaving little, and yet somehow SO MUCH to endlessly fantasize to the imagination...
Flouncing around the stage, with the occasional head-banging breakdowns, Yelle performed ol’ booty-movin’ favs from her first album “Pop Up”, like “Ceu Jeu” as well as drop a number of new shoulder-shaking sparkly-pop tunes from her latest album “Safari Disco Club” such as her garage-synthy “C’est pas une Vie” with an undeniably reminiscent “O Mickey You’re so fine” percussion line and her positively addictive floor-filler “Comme un enfant”.
The highlight was Yelle’s performance of “Que Veux Tu”. I felt as if I was right back at home with my fellow ravers, as the room swooned back and forth and each person cupped their hands in the shape of hearts in sync with Yelle, as she cooed lovingly to the crowd. Yelle & her indecipherable French, the audience, the whole moment, was simply heart-flutteringly magical.
Following her set and a two-song encore, instead of fleeing to the haven of their tour bus, Yelle graciously stayed and signed countless numbers of tour memorabilia and knick-knacks and even conversed their with fans before they said their final farewells. Trust me, I've been to my fair share of shows, but it was really quite neat to see even a European pop sensation be so willingly approachable and genuinely amiable.
I saw Yelle’s performance at Coachella this past Spring. Heck, I was even front row for the whole thing. Yet, having the opportunity to see a globally-renowned and world-wide adored artist like Yelle within an intimate context and at a local spot, like at The Casbah, was an insanely special experience. If the Casbah wanted to have an experimental French-electro dance party every week, I’d be far from opposed. In fact, I think I’d probably even get there before 11pm, sneaky incentives involving free booze removed! An amazing crowd of people who are there for the music, non-stop dancing all night long, cheap drinks, and top-notch talent – yea, I could definitely get used to this.
Thanks for a wonderful evening folks, I'm sure you'll be seeing me back at The Casbah very soon.
By: Taylor Doms (Founder, TheMixster.com)