We were living in “TAZ” they called it, and by they I mean YACHT at Bardot last Saturday night. It stands for Temporary Autonomous Zone, and it played a very key part in transforming what could’ve been a repetitive head bopping show at Bardot, into a full blown body rocking dance party. Now, the text book definition of the word autonomous would be as follows: acting independently or having the freedom to do so. Though YACHT’s website has an extensive (but very interesting) list of statements explaining who and what they are, that definition could very well be their sole description. It is everything that YACHT emanated last weekend, and it is everything they gave to the audience too.
Before their set though, was a groovy two piece called Onuinu from Portland Oregon. They sounded like a clash of Washed Out and SBTRKT, both showcasing that they know their way around looping pedals and gave off a lot more sound than you’d expect from a duo. They currently have no recorded music for sale, but they’re “working on it”. The venue wasn’t exactly crammed with fans at that point, they set a vibe nicely for the most anticipated act, YACHT.
Projected on the wall behind them was a one minute countdown with their signature smiley faced triangle grinning down at us. They immediately showed us that no matter how small the venue, or how different an environment, they would do it their way and their way only. And so it began.
Frontman Jona Bechtolt and frontwoman Claire Evans instantly jumped (literally) into the opening, “Paradise Engineering”, and commenced what would be one of the most high energy shows I’ve ever experienced. They flung their bodies spastically and showed no signs of ever slowing down. Each song seemed to top one another, and when we finally thought we’d found our favorite moment, they’d fly right into the next song and we’d somehow find it in us to dance even wilder than the last. Even when launching into a quick Powerpoint (Yep, Powerpoint) on who they were and where they came from, they did it with the upmost enthusiasm and quirkiness. And as I watched the usually cozy and cool Bardot erupt into a glittery tornado of embarrassing dance moves once again, I realized we all need a little more “TAZ” in our lives.
Though their style is eccentric and their philosophies may seem a bit profound for what we’d classify as a “dancey” band, it’s those beliefs that allow YACHT to put on the kind of show they do. “We are all the citizens. The only space is here. You don’t have to do anything, because it’s all already happening,” shouted Claire. That pure and unhinged energy transcended the band/audience barrier and was spread to each and every person present at that show. They are quite possibly one of the most contagious bands I’ve ever seen live- in that we, as an audience, are taken under their wing and get to spend a night living purely in the essence of the present, in the now. YACHT gave us a reason to let loose and let go of anything and everything that didn’t pertain to what was going on right then and there, and that’s a refreshing experience to say the least.
Our favorite moments had to do with audience participation, such as Claire Evans personally blessing audience members (myself included) by pushing 3 fingers into their foreheads and releasing them dramatically, and Jona Bechtolt running into the crowd dancing crazily, as well as directing synchronized arm movements towards adoring fans.
“It’s Boring/You Can Live Anywhere You Want”
“I Walked Alone”
“Tripped and Fell in Love”
“I’m in Love With a Ripper”
“Waste of Time”
“Dystopia (The Earth Is on Fire)”