I got the opportunity to see the early Yeasayer show last Friday, and I must say, I'm better for it. After having the late show sell out a few weeks early, I realized that this "MGMT" band that was opening for them must be some sort of buzz band, since I knew Yeasayer couldn't possibly have that kind of draw yet. This theory was proven when they added an early show- with Yeasayer opening this time. Luckily I snapped up my ticket just in time for the early show to sell out; it meant getting to Schubas at 7pm, but if this "MGMT" turned out to suck, it also meant I could duck out early.
Based on Yeasayer's hippies-do-rock sound, I was surprised to see the band come out looking more grunge than hippie; a couple of them had long hair, but there was more flannel and fewer long beards than I'd expected. I was also surprised by how much the band made use of electronic sounds, as I'd thought their sound seemed more organic (going along with my hippie theory). Regardless, they sounded amazing. The band made it through several songs without saying a word to the audience, they were so intensely focused on the music they were producing. Singer Chris Keating's voice was so strong and almost otherworldly that it didn't sound like it was coming from his mouth, but from the walls. Running through the majority of their excellent 2007 debut All Hour Cymbals, definite highlights included the much blogged-about "2080" (where Chris cut himself in the process of his flailing, drawing blood) and show closer "Sunrise," which certainly ended the show on a high note. At the end of the show the band seemed positively exhausted, telling the audience they weren't sure they had any energy left for the late show. To top things off, this was the best sound I've heard in Schubas in a long time; everything was completely crystal clear and the volume was at the perfect level where I didn't even think to put in any earplugs.
After Yeasayer's almost transcendent set, it seemed pointless staying for a band that certainly wouldn't live up. After four seemingly pre-pubescent boys conducted an endless soundcheck, the show started and we left after about 10 seconds. The MGMT singer's voice was kind of whiny. But frankly we probably wouldn't have given them a chance even if they were remotely decent, because Yeasayer's performance was just too good to follow.