Just knowing Yelle is playing tonight was enough to have me wake up with a grin. By the time I make it to Miami I’m having trouble restraining myself from climbing out of my window as I circle around trying to find a parking spot (and the Basel influx of people isn’t helping). As I’m driving around, I’m convincing myself of how French everyone is. Women in black and white stripes and red lipstick. Men in white pants and ornate moustaches. Everywhere, so French.
Once inside, even The Fillmore has adapted for Art Basel. Easels of highbrow street art line the walk to the auditorium. The small crowd is found lounging, swprawled in the seats that have been set up all the way until the orchestral pit. And as I walk through I’m enamored with the fact that everyone is speaking French or with the accent, how authentic. Promptly at 9:01 the French duo Housse De Racket assumes their places on stage. After a brief and childishly adorable introduction they lay right into a set that was so lightly put together, yet packed a considerable punch. Sure the crowd was pretty small for such a venue, but I don’t think they noticed. They could have been in any venue, any garage in the world, and they still would have danced the same and sang as powerfully. After every song Victor would run back to the drums to Pierre and they would confer together, breaking apart with wide grins. People were just bobbing along, until they began to play a lively little song of theirs, “Oh Yeah’ and this outspoken man next to me had had enough of the sedentary crowd. He shouted, “Everybody better freakin’ JUMP!”, and it was a very obedient crowd. The duo was so endearing, stumbling with their broken english, trying so hard just to tell us how much they loved Miami. And they paid their homage entirely to Yelle, repeatedly telling us that “Up next, Yelle!”
After a few remarks with the residuals of our last ditch jumping pit the lights dim and GrandMarnier and Tepr march onto stage in their best safari outfits. With visors and all, they situate themselves on opposite ends of the stage, perfectly framing the lady of the night. The synth seeps into the auditourium, the drums escalate and as the lights raise, what seems to be Yelle walks onstage. She is completely covered in a green leathery fringed burka (her first of 3 outfits). As she grabs the mic, she slips off her hood and opens the show. Midway through the song she tears out of the burka to reveal a sexy little leopard print dress, which still permitted her with a good deal of athleticism. Thank goodness, because between punching, high-stepping and jumping around, think the only break she got was when she went to change into her next outfit. A red and black leopard print onesie, 100% elastic .She was so emphatic with all of her movements, and so persistanty telling us in her ever improving English how happy she was to be in, “Miama? Mee-ami? haha I love to Miami”. She went from one dance tune straight to another that had even the most mysterious and aloof looking men bopping around trying not to smile. For ‘Ce Jue’ the two men assumed positions aside yell at the endge of the stage to guide is in the snapping. Not failing to mention when Yelle broke it down on a drum solo. After pretending to be done and begging for an encore. GrandMarnier and Tepr hurry back onstage to tell us that we werent yelling loud enough. So they grab the mic, stand and all, and hold it out over the crowd. It worked! Yelle heard us! She came back out
and bid us with ‘Dance Ta Vraie Vie’ and closing with a remix of their ‘Safari Disco Club’. At the cessation, the entire crowd filtered out to the merchantbooth where they cleared it out, even the tablecloth may’ve gone for a good price.
This was Yelle’s second Art Basel, and Housse De Racket’s first American tour! And as much as they satisfied our expectations it left us needing more. So start learning your French now!