tUnE-yArDs at the Rickshaw Stop, 8/12/11

tUnE-yArDs‘ culmination of success has been amazing to witness. Merrill Garbus has moved her tribal indie pop act to new levels, as evidenced by Pitchfork-curated church showcases at SxSW to a sold-out show at the Great American to a recent late-night television debut. tUnE-yArDs were announced at the last minute as a “special guest” during Vetiver’s Outside Lands night show at the Rickshaw Stop, and suddenly, the dynamic of the show shifted entirely. While a significant crowd remained for the duration of the evening (the musicians of Vetiver, after all, have a certain amount of star power on their own), an extra special vibe took place during the middle portion of Friday’s sold-out show. tUnE-yArDs put on a truly mind-blowing performance (“next level,” as some have described), and when Merrill commanded the audience to jump during the last song, every attendee did just that, with immense enthusiasm.

Extra Classic opened the show, an above-average feat for any opening band, given the caliber of the two subsequent acts. The local band was up to the task, however, playing a confident set that inspired some real movement from the early-bird crowd. They lived up to the Extra Classic name, as the sounds were inspired by reggae gods of the past, dressed up with modern riffs and powerful lead vocals.

While tUnE-yArDs provided a lightening bolt of energy mid-show, Vetiver proceeded to drench the audience in tightly-woven folk, maintaining the energy from the previous set with a light-hearted selection from the band’s arsenal of albums. The songs from Vetiver’s latest, The Errant Charm, were particularly sunny and joyous, resulting in widespread smiles and (for lack of a better description) plenty of hippie dancing.

All in all, it was a fantastic evening of music. Thanks to Outside Lands for curating such a unique and inspired lineup.

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