Early on in Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s headlining set at the ‘Dise last night, shouts of “We missed you!” could be heard bellowing out from the balcony.
It’s been a couple of years since audiences have heard much from the band, and as CYHSY re-emerges from that hiatus it’s taking strong steps towards a major, once unthinkable turnaround from overhyped indie rock whipping-boy to an underdog that crowds can really get behind once again.
The contrast between the group’s beloved 2005 self-titled debut and its much-derided follow-up effort was like night and day, and Clap Your Hands seems content to bury Some Loud Thunder in its past. The band touched on just a single song from that release over the course of an 80-minute set that pulled pretty evenly from CYHSY and its comeback album, Hysterical, which hits stores today (click here to stream the album on Spinner for the rest of the week).
While a rowdy crowd slowly filled the club to near capacity, Clap Your Hands was met with heavy applause as it kicked things off with the playful “Sunshine and Clouds” before a high-octane romp through “Same Mistake,” finally settling into a steady groove with “Over and Over Again” and “Gimme Some Salt.”
The only real drag in the set came when Hysterical slow burner “In a Motel” was followed by a somewhat uninspired “Details of the War.” The crowd was slowly pulled back to life as “The Witness’ Dull Surprise” built to a head and erupted once again with “Satan Said Dance.”
Clap Your Hands’ greatest struggle in a live setting stems from its greatest strength as a band: the effortless, cathartic energy it generates on songs like “The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth,” “Is this Love?” and, more recently, “Hysterical” and “Ketamine and Ecstasy” seems to envelop and overshadow its finer subtle moments. Promising Hysterical track “Misspent Youth” didn’t stand a chance when sandwiched between “Satan” and “Maniac.”
After closing the main set with a run of CYHSY crowd pleasers, “Adam’s Plane” morphed from a straight-ahead yawner into a serious barnburner that played perfectly alongside “Heavy Metal” to close the show.
Fresh off its live debut earlier this month, Minnesota quartet Polica opened the show with a hypnotic, if not somewhat repetitive, set of songs led by singer Channy Moon Casselle and anchored by a pair of drummers.
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s Setlist:
Sunshine and Clouds (and Everything Proud) / Same Mistake / Over and Over Again (Lost and Found) / Gimme Some Salt / Hysterical / In this Home on Ice / Ketamine and Ecstasy / In a Motel / Details of the War / The Witness’ Dull Surprise / Satan Said Dance / Misspent Youth / Maniac / Is this Love? / The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth / Upon this Tidal Wave of Young Blood // Adam’s Plane / Heavy Metal
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah: