Yelle @ U Street Music Hall - 9/26/2017

The French are known for great dance-oriented musicians like Daft Punk, Phoenix, and Justice. Yelle is no stranger to this group. Starting with their breakout hit “Je veux te voir” in 2008, Yelle has been entertaining audiences on our side of the Atlantic to rave reviews. It’s been a few years since we've been graced with an album from the duo of Julie Budet and GrandMariner. All signs are pointing to an imminent album announcement very soon. Over the last few months,  they've released three new songs, "Romeo,” "Interpasion," and “Ici & Maintenant (Here & Now)” that continue to bridge the pop and electronic gaps in new and exciting ways that span continents and languages.

Julie Budet caught red-handed by her bandmates at U Street Music Hall (Photo by Mauricio Castro / @themauricio)

Julie Budet caught red-handed by her bandmates at U Street Music Hall (Photo by Mauricio Castro / @themauricio)

The Club Party Tour, as the tour is being billed, had all the joyous energy of an underground dance party led by three ringleaders (with GrandMariner and touring musician Franck Richard playing a combination of percussion and programming), but the show still had one foot in the live music space. It was briefly off-putting to hear Budet sing alongside what sounded like a prerecorded track, making it challenging to tell what was actually her live voice and what wasn’t. But with all the vocal manipulation in their music plus some great choreography, it wasn’t a big deal in the long run. Tepr and GrandMariner put a lot of thought in their synchronized moves and hip-shaking, syncing up with Budet for some hilariously great moments throughout the show.

Judging by number of hands in the air, songs from their most recent album like “Ba$$in” (where the hip-shaking was out in full force) and “Complètement fou” were definite highlights of the night, but making the live experience even more essential were reworked versions of “Ce jeu” and the Logo remix of “Que Veux Tu.” These originally subdued synth-pop songs were obviously remixed with the intention of maintaining the high BPM throughout the night. Budet’s energy throughout each song was unrivaled, as she dinosaur-walked, shimmied, and boogied her way across stage from start to sweaty finish. And when you’re a group like Yelle, leaving the place hotter and sweatier than how you found it is always the goal.

Their most recent album, 2014’s Complètement fou, is available through Kemosabe Records.

Opening for Yelle was local DJ Eau Claire. She’s no stranger to bands like Yelle - her Feed Me Disco night at U Street Music Hall regularly brings disco-house tracks and remixes to the venue for late-night weekend dance parties.

 

Photos by Mauricio Castro
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