Yelle heats up Berbatis. Pic Â©Nilina Mason-Campbell
Post from Nilina Mason-Campbell – - Based on the amount of sweat and fevered dancing, it’s safe to say that Yelle and Co. turned Berbati’s into a raging all-ages discothÃ¨que free of inhibition. The evening’s festivities first kicked off with Funeral Party and Boston quintet Passion Pit who didn’t quite live up to the absurd uniqueness of frontman Michael Angelakos’ recorded output, but were still totally dance-able and engaging, as showcased by the group’s performance of a song in dedication to doughnuts.
Around eleven the French trio that is Yelle in the live arena – the electro songstress and her producer and co-songwriter GrandMarnier on drums and co-producer/ prolific remixer Tepr manning the electronics – strutted on stage and stayed there for an hour. High energy was is mass production as evidenced by Yelle’s non-stop shimmying, shaking, jumping and smiles and from the crowd’s unending desire to do the same. I made the easy observation that it’s probably the most dancing I’ve seen go down at a show in Portland. While Yelle was free to move about the stage, the packed in audience was not, a closeness that instantly produced a level of humidity that would put unventilated basements to shame. The fun thing about it is that no one seemed to mind and despite being cramped in super tight, no one’s dance moves or arm-waving seemed to suffer. A slew of sweaters belonging to the crowd decorated the edge all along the stage as layer after layer was peeled off.
Pic Â©Nilina Mason-Campbell
A notable moment came during “Ce Jeu” [< -- click to listen] when a handful of audience members broke out intricately folded paper animal masks to mirror the video. A PDF available on Yelle’s Myspace page the pattern and directions and promised a kiss from Yelle at the end of the night.
Though there wasn’t much talking presumably due to the language barrier and for the fact she may not be that talkative of a performer regardless, a bit more English made its way into the set in comparison to Yelle’s inaugural Rose City date this past April. This time around, you heard not only “Merci,” but “thank you” too at the end of songs and her bandmates asked a few questions in regards to the age separation towards the end of the evening.
So you know how French label Edbanger is a play off of how French people say “headbanger?” Well, I had to take label honcho Busy P’s word for it until Yelle launched into biggest hit “Je Veux Te Voir” to close out the night, when I heard the pronunciation for myself. They’d already played the track mid-way through their set to rapturous response and chose a revamped, rocked-out version of the track as their encore. Yelle introduced the song with the phrase – encouraging everyone to embrace their rock side. She led the way by headbanging to launch the song and placing her mic back into its stand repeatedly through-out to rock-out with exaggerated air guitar.
I left for fresh air the second it was over though I wouldn’t be surprised if Berbati’s had a hard time shuffling people out afterwards. There was some undying dedication in the eyes of the underage during the show that I’m sure wasn’t so easily quelled when the show came to an end. Then one has to take into account those hopeful and crafty souls who made masks for a kiss. No word on if Yelle kept up her end of the bargain…