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Review: Yacht, Onuinu

All photos by D’Aundra Wallace

To be honest, I got to last night’s Yacht and Onuinu show at Crescent Ballroom feeling pretty blah. I was super tired and dragged myself out of a post-workday nap, to downtown Phoenix for the show. However, that aversion quickly went away.

When I arrived DJ Don Ricardo was spinning a good mix of indie tunes that provided a nice background to pre-show conversation. Portland-based Onuinu (pronounced on-you-in-you) took the stage around 9:15 P.M. and immediately grabbed the crowd’s attention.

Frontman Dorian Duvall began by telling the crowd they’ve been touring with Yacht for the last two weeks. “We’re fucking tired, but happy to be here,” Duvall said before mentioning it was his first time in Phoenix.

Onuinu played a half-hour set that I can only describe as its own brand of funky, electronic music. The band’s style of dress and play took me back to the ‘90s, but before I knew it, I was swaying and bobbing my head with the crowd, a muscle warm-up for the dance party  to come.

Yacht took the stage a little after 10 P.M. and boy do they know how to make an entrance. The band opened with an energy that instantly brought me to life. Any tiredness I felt before the show, flowed out of me like the sweat from Claire Evans and Jona Bechtolt‘s pores.

If you’re wondering “who is Yacht?” like one concertgoer asked during the mid-set Q&A, just watch this video. Yacht is more than just a band, it’s a belief system.

The stage presence of Bechtolt and Evans, and the way they interact with one another, is unsurpassed by any other band I’ve seen. They danced across the entire stage and each of them exited multiple times to interact with the audience.

My eyes followed their every move, I was mesmerized. And no matter what you’ve heard about Jagger, no one has moves like Jona.

Evans announced the band had one more song, which provoked the crowd to yell and cheer through “Dystopia” at a decibel level that remained consistent until the band returned for an encore.

Throughout the evening, I was pressed against the front of the stage in a personal-space bubble that gave me just enough arm room to be comfortable. However, that quickly changed when the underage section broke down their barricade and flooded the 21+ crowd for the final two songs.

They were like animals released into the wild after being held hostage in a small cage for days. Bodies came together in a fluid sea that seemed to know and sing every lyric in unison.

I’m not complaining, though. There’s something wonderful about being packed so closely you’re unsure of which sweat is yours and it doesn’t matter that you’ve never met the person standing next to you, they’re going to dance with you anyway, as if it’s BFF night at the club.

Yacht was superb.

I truly feel they are one of those bands you must see live. The visual and sensory experience they provide is just not something that could ever be translated on record.

For more pictures and a live video of Jona’s moves, see below…

For more videos from the evening, visit The Spec‘s YouTube channel.

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