The 10 Worst Things about Seeing Yeasayer at the Echoplex on 1/26/08 [Please note, all quotes are paraphrased. I believe I'm fairly representing the essence of what he said, but I didn't have a notebook with me.]
1) It was raining really hard and I had to park far away because there was something going on at the church next door. Then I got soaked running from my car to the venue.
2) Once Yeasayer started there was a rush of people who pushed their way to the front, presumably trying to avoid the bad sound and lack of sightlines under the massive overhang.
3) The BO of the guy who eventually decided to settle in next to me.
4) The lead singer commenting after the first song, “You’re a bunch of shoegazing motherfuckers.”
5) The lead singer asking, “Are there any actors here? You’re all just here to be seen aren’t you. How about agents. Are there any agents here?”
6) The lead singer once again noting the lack of movement in the crowd, “I guess it’s early. They made us come on at 8:00 [it was 9:30]. It’s 11:00 in New York. I bet people are dancing in New York. Maybe by the time MGMT comes on you guys will have had enough drinks and you’ll move. What was with that line outside. 300 people in line to see the show. This club needs to work that shit out.”
7) The lead singer saying, “You have a lot of dreamcatchers out here. You know, out in Topanga. We don’t have that kind of thing where I’m from.”
8) The lead singer reflecting, “A lot people think we’re hippies. But we’re not.”
9) The lead singer throwing something into the crowd and hitting a girl. I didn’t see what he threw because I was walking from one side of the club to the other because I didn’t want to stand next to the hippies who were smoking a joint next to me. “Oh, I’m sorry, I meant to hit the guy next to you. Find me after the show and I’ll give you $20.” (A few people booed) “You can throw stuff at me if you want.” (A few people obliged.)
10) In addition to the lead singer being completely unlikable as a person, the live performance wasn’t compelling. There’s nothing worse than spending your cash and your Saturday night getting insulted by an out-of-towner spewing puerile insults about your city (after all, that’s what our friends from San Francisco are for). Touring the world in a popular band with 700 people at your show and a line around the block after putting out only one record just a few short months ago must be really awful. People at your shows should jump up and down and happily get down on their knees and suck your dick if you ask them to. It doesn’t matter if you’re not putting much into the performance and you’re moping around the stage singing along to backing tracks. Don’t these asshole kids know that you're a vital artist?
The whole night made me feel a little sad that I put their record in my top 20 of 2007. Now when I listen to the songs, all I can think about is a grouchy guy sitting around a computer in a cramped studio apartment in Brooklyn alternately laboring over Pro Tools and trying to line up interviews on Pitchfork. How Rock ‘n’ Roll. What would Steve Albini say?