It seems that the first question I get about the Pete Yorn show (from women, anyway) is this one: “Is he that cute in real life?” The answer is a definitive “Yes”-- but Pete Yorn’s appeal goes far deeper than his shaggy good looks. Performing every track off his terrific Columbia debut, musicforthemorningafter, Yorn’s cool honest vocals and naughty-boy smile burst through the heavy stage fog and all that dark hair he hides behind. He took a break to do a hokey, yet endearing rendition of “Happy Birthday” to his keyboardist Joe, and there was even a sort of gentle moshpit going during his hit, “Strange Condition.” The band was tight, the vibe was great, and Yorn expressed delight with the diverse and packed Mississippi Nights St. Louis crowd, and with the show in general. A feverish, grungified cover of David Bowie’s “China Girl” closed out the first set before his encore which included a solo acoustic of the rarely played “June,” the heartwrenching “EZ” and “Murray” (with those “uh, uh, uh, uhs” that always reminds me of the old Greg Kihn Band’s “The Breakup Song”), which was the song he used to say goodbye.
England's Elbow opened the show with some impressive, shoegazy, funk-on-Quaaludes moments. Definitely a band to watch, and awfully charming as they thanked us in their thick Manchester accents for being a “fookin’ great audience.” Catch them next time they’re in your neck of the woods.
To find more on Pete Yorn, visit his website at www.peteyorn.com