Pete Yorn with Aqualung: Don't Judge A Band By Radio
By
J. Gordon
3/9/2007 6:05:14 PM

Maybe it’s his slacker good-looks. Maybe it’s his easy charm in front of life audiences. Whatever the reason, Pete Yorn still manages to carry enough indie cred to draw a substantial crowd. It’s been a steady rise in venue size for this pop-alt-folkie, who can now easily pack a large St. Louis theater like the Pageant, still riding mainly of the success of his terrific 2001 debut, musicforthemorningafter. Now, two albums later, Pete Yorn still isn’t getting much radio play or mainstream respect, despite his imminently listenable, somewhat polished crossover pop with smart lyrics and occasionally danceable vibe. But, really, who cares? It doesn’t seem to slow him down any.

Doing a nice sampling from all three CDs, Pete Yorn opened the show with the surprising dark-yet-catchy number, “Black.” He surprised everyone with a few covers, notably Bruce Springsteen’s “Atlantic City,” Warren Zevon’s “Splendid Isolation,” and “Dead Flowers” by the Rolling Stones.

The sound seemed bigger than ever, probably due to the backup band which clearly held its own. In fact, this was very much a band show, versus the mostly-acoustic, singer/songwriter-type shows we’ve seen Pete Yorn do at Mississippi Nights and the Duck Room in past years.

The audience of thirty-somethings were definitely into it, celebrating the new and embracing the old tunes, dancing and singing and mirroring the easy happiness and melancholy sweetness that spills out of Pete Yorn’s music.

He closed the show with a four-song encore featuring the best songs from every album and getting his biggest response of the night for “Strange Condition,”--the climax of the night.

Openers Aqualung performed a brief but powerful set, infusing the room with their jazz-tinged, Muse-like sonic landscape. Also formerly appearing on the smaller-sized stages, Aqualung seems to have finally found a place where they can come up for air and enjoy the big lights to a warm, receptive crowd.

Photo of Pete Yorn in St. Louis from his website, www.peteyorn.com

 

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