Dance Party with Yelle at Mezzanine [Review]

Yelle | Dirty Ghosts | Saturday, November 12, 2011 | Mezzanine | San Francisco

Yelle. Photo by Joey Pangilinan.

Some nights when going to a show, you just have this feeling in your stomach that lets you know that the entire night will be this epic, sprawling adventure. Approaching the entrance of the Mezzanine last Saturday night, you could feel the energy just by looking at the line of people still waiting to get inside with the music blaring out the front doors. I felt even more amped up when I entered the venue and saw the crowd of people already inside anxiously awaiting the dancey, electronic-pop sounds of Yelle. By the time my friends and I got inside, Dirty Ghosts was nearing the end of its set. Local to San Francisco, Dirty Ghosts had won a contest to open up for the French-headliners. Although we didn’t get to see much of its set, the band had clearly worked the room into a mood to dance and party.

The sold out show at Mezzanine was originally meant to be the second stop on this month-long tour for Yelle, but unfortunately, due to complications with visas, the tour opener at The Wiltern in Los Angeles had to be rescheduled until a few days after the San Francisco show. Thus, in the last 24-36 hours leading up to the show at Mezzanine, my friends and I were a bit nervous about the possibility of our show having to be postponed as well.

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Skyping with Yelle [Interview]

This week, Yelle returns to San Francisco. The Mezzanine will play host to the electronic dance band from France this Saturday night, November 12th. Band members Tepr, GrandMarnier and Yelle herself were last here in San Francisco back in May of this year at the Grand Regency Ballroom just after playing at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, CA in April.

I had the good fortune to see Yelle not only at Coachella this year, but on Halloween night three years ago, also at Mezzanine, when the group was on tour promoting its first album, Pop-Up. My friends and I discovered Yelle despite not knowing a lick of French. As with most fellow fans of Yelle, having a less than working knowledge of the French language is certainly not a hindrance. What makes Yelle so appealing is the band’s character and energy, which shine beyond any language barrier. With the release of the band’s follow-up album, Safari Disco Club, all members of the band are a little older and  a little wiser, but still always in the mood to have some fun and make you want to dance.

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity, through Skype, to catch up with Yelle herself, Julie Budet, after the band wrapped production work on a new music video. Naturally, some topics discussed included her (as well as the band’s) passion for music, the band’s style and aesthetic, Halloween and even a little bit about making a fan out of Katy Perry and getting a chance to open up a few shows for her in the UK this year.

Yelle. Photo by Grégoire Alexandre.

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BRAIDS with Painted Palms and Pepper Rabbit [Review]

Tuesday, September 27. San Francisco’s Bottom of the Hill. A night of musical reverence.

Encased in a Bay Area Indian Summer sultriness, the aptly named bar/live music venue at the foot of Potrero Hill hosts a night of performances by Painted Palms, Pepper Rabbit and BRAIDS. (Read an interview with BRAIDS’ Raphaelle Standel-Preston here.) Outside, the heat mixes with the fog in the air and the quiet of the neighborhood, adding a sense of mystery to the evening. I even feel as though I’m intruding on a well-kept secret as I approach the door and encounter a couple of BRAIDS members having a curbside chat, a fitting preview of the bar’s comfortable atmosphere. An air of relaxation reigns as the crowd begins to funnel into the room’s soft blue and red lighting, making for a full audience. And it’s not even the middle of the week! That’s what we call “winning.”

Painted Palms. Photo courtesy of Secretly Canadian.

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