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YACHT: Concert Review


text: Alex Gavin

If you follow us here at Quip, you will recall a recent video post of YACHT’s single from their newest album, I Walked Alone.

Well, Tuesday night YACHT brought their hip-thrusting revivalist showcase to Chicago’s own Lincoln Hall, and just short of hyperbole, the spectacle was righteous. Don’t balk at the word choice either. I’m not throwing adjectives around the internet to sound cool. This is serious.

Within the context of this post, don’t think of “righteous” from our current vernacular. Take your mind back to a time where such a word would never be used to describe a banal occurrence like your bro’s last house party or a particularly delicious meal. We are all guilty of the slow death of this word, so don’t lie to yourself. But YACHT shows are more substantial than current usage allows, and what went down Tuesday deserves some reverence.

Let’s set the scene:

In front of a laudatory crowd of roughly 250, Jona Bechtolt and friends achieved a level of righteousness generally reserved for heroes of the Bible, or Daniel-Day Lewis roles. You see, YACHT has always aimed beyond the scope of the traditional concert experience, and their ability to deliver on these intentions has driven their success for the past five years.

While most bands punch out sets in admiration of themselves in exchange for admiration from their fans, YACHT is more concerned with creating a collective experience. They let you know from the jump that the show isn’t about them. It is about everyone in the room, together. People sharing the same time and space, doing something that no one ever has nor ever could do again. It was an an endearing sentiment with a genuine delivery. But this wasn’t some fluff about loving their fans, it was a damn decree.

Immediately after laying down the ground rules, YACHT ripped into an almost two-hour set testifying to their mantra. It was a madhouse at times, a sanctuary at others. You had to do your best to keep up with the energy they were pumping from the stage, and just when people almost couldn’t maintain the pace, YACHT provided the kicker to keep it going.

In the show’s defining moment, the band’s queen bee and primary co-conspirator, Claire Evans, pounced into the crowd to perform Psychic City (Voodoo City). To my surprise, the muse wasn’t mauled on the spot. Not even close. It was as if the audience had taken the band’s mission statement to heart. Everyone danced accordingly, awaiting further instruction. The microphone made the rounds of the front of the house, with each person taking their best stab at the song’s hook:

Hang around baby, baby.
Hang around baby, baby.
We’ll be baking a cake for you.

Claire provided the key bump to get everyone to the end of the night, and a few songs later the show was finished but the experience lives on.

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