“Do you believe in extraterrestrials?”, Jona Bechtolt of YACHT yells at the audience at the start of his set.
It was a sign of what was to come from the band, famous for their cosmos-loving spirituality and zany performances.
The audience streamed into Home Club in unspectacular fashion, but throughout the show one hardly felt like it was a half-empty room; the band’s infectious and seemingly infinite energy got everyone dancing, jumping, screaming, and singing along to catchy favourites like ‘I Walked Alone’, ‘Utopia/Dystopia (The Earth Is On Fire)’, and ‘Psychic City’. And by the time they performed the third hit, the room and our feet were on fire.
The sublime Claire Evans – bless her beautifully insane interpretive dancing – was constantly engaging the crowd, which responded to every word and lyric she uttered with fanatic and lovelorn adoration. Together with her band’s brand of fun but cerebral pop, she brought to life ‘Le Goudron’, Brigitte Fontaine’s intense avant-pop song.
As the brief show revved up towards its end, you could almost hear the sense of dread in the audience as YACHT exited with their new song, ‘Second Summer’. Nobody wanted them to leave without playing the hit that arguably propelled YACHT into the hearts of every electro pop-loving hipster: before they could step off stage, the room was chanting ‘SHANGRI LA, SHANGRI LA, SHANGRI LA’.
True to their knack for surprises, YACHT encored instead with the floor-rattling ‘It’s Boring (You Can Live Anywhere You Want)’, ensuring the night went out with an uncompromising Big Bang.
It was an electrifying show that clearly transcended the venue and sparse crowd. A pity the show (and expensive tickets) didn’t draw more; YACHT definitely deserved a bigger audience. Do we believe in extra-terrestrials? Well, yes — everyone walked out of a show that delivered through and through. It was, to put it quite simply, out of this world.
By Zixin Lin