Tune-Yards - Webster Hall - 6/23/14
Better Than: A night in with real cartoons -- this show was live-action animation
All photos Sachyn Mital. See more photos from last night here.
The last night of a good tour feels like a high-school graduation: There are lots of hugs and "We love you guys!," guesting during each others' sets and/or hijinx, which can range from Motley Crue surprising Guns N' Roses with 25 blasts of pyro during "Welcome to the Jungle" in 1987 to a particularly inspired toilet-paper fight between Deer Tick and Guards on the Webster Hall stage a couple of years back.
See also: Village Voice Pazz & Jop
I'll go out on a limb here and conjecture that maybe possibly or at least partially because three-fourths of the musicians onstage for the final date of the six-week-long Tuneyards/Sylvan Esso tour at Webster Hall on Monday night were female, we only got the first two. Still, it was a warm, fuzzy and fun show --the second of two sold-out nights -- before a crowd filled with more than a few Merrill-ites: festooned with painted faces, brightly colored clothes and luridly patterned tights in homage to Tune-Yards frontal lobe Merrill Garbus.
Sylvan Esso started off the evening at 9 p.m. sharp with a tight set drawing from their just-five-weeks-old self-titled debut. The songs, bedroom-studio-ish on the album, have taken on a brawnier form over the group's weeks of touring, beefed up by the duo's energetic stage presence: singer Amelia Meath stomps and hops, bringing an almost hip-hop vibe as she pushes hard on the songs' cadences with emphatic hand gestures; the cartoonish vibe of her loping dance moves was enhanced by her clompy, big-heeled shoes and tight T-shirt/dress, which had a two-foot-tall photo of Bjork making a maniacal face. Instrumentalist Nick Sanborn works the mixer and laptop with more visual verve than most of his ilk, bobbing and nodding and clapping, twisting knobs and finessing the board like he's building some awesome toy -- in other words, like he's playing an instrument rather than operating a machine.
The crowd turned up early and loudly -- even singing along on the "do you love me" part of "Coffee" -- giving such a warm response that at one point the duo shrugged at each other incredulously. "Yeah, this is pretty much the best thing ever," Sanborn said amid copious thanks to the crowd, their crew and Tune-Yards.