31 Mar Yeo live at Howler (24/3/16)
It was a packed-out Howler on Thursday night for the Melbourne leg of Yeo’s national Ganbaru album launch tour. Since his last EP release Come Find Me in 2014, there was an eagerness and excitement in the room to hear this new 2016 full-length release live – including his highly successful track ‘Quiet Achiever’, which preceded the album in 2015.
With his Roland Keyboard Controller (or ‘Keytar’, for the more musically-inclined amongst us) in hand, the night began as Yeo and his drummer Andy walked on stage. They were soon shrouded in colourful, captivating visuals that took over the stage as they played through new tracks ‘Promise / Secret’, ‘Icarus’ and ‘Got No Game’ – each song a real highlight from his new album, keeping the tempo up but changing the vibe ever-so-slightly each time.
Joined onstage halfway through by Saatsuma vocalist Memphis Kelly and Animaux vocalist and saxophnist Ollie Whitehead, the vibe in Howler’s band room just kept growing – as did the temperature (if anyone has been to a Howler set when it gets hot, they’ll know what I mean). As they all performed together, it was a real treat to see all their musical talents combine, and the energy onstage was fantastic. This is something I was hoping to see in Yeo’s live show, as his music involves an eclectic range of sounds, allowing him to explore different ways to bring his live show to a new level. ‘Covered in Gold’ came up next, a sensational synth-vocal track released back in 2013.
After a whole hour of sweating it out with the crowd, I was glad that they only had a short encore interval as Yeo and Andy returned on stage for one last song – a cover of Tina Turner’s hit ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It’. The duo had played well all evening, and with one last tremendous keyboard solo Yeo’s set was over. As his fans cheered him off the stage, they kept on grooving as DJ Alex Yabsley took over.
Yeo, without a doubt, is one of those ‘genre undefined’ artists who is going from strength to strength. From a a support slot with Glass Animals to a vocal feature with Hermitude, it’s an exciting time for the young Melbourne-based singer, songwriter and producer. Ganbaru is a true testament to his forever-changing style and sound, and hopefully we see more experimentation and collaborations from Yeo in future as he continues to grow as an artist.