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Review: YUCK

I know all too well the recipe for a bad live performance, but it’s a little different quantifying a good performance. Is it the visuals? The perfomance itself? The artists’ interaction with the crowd? The chosen setlist? Crowd involvement? It’s all subjective, really. While last night’s show was not my favorite show ever (Jeff Tweedy solo at Orpheum Theater in 2009, I’m looking at you), it was solid.

See, a lot has changed with Yuck since I last saw them perform at Rhythm Room in Phoenix, opening for Smith Westerns. At the time, the band was about to release its debut, self-titled album on Fat Possum (US)/Mercury Records (UK). It still had Daniel Blumberg, a founding member. Last year, Blumberg left the band to focus on his solo career and Max Bloom, who also founded Yuck, took over as the frontman.

“There’s a lot more people here,” Bloom said last night to the Crescent Ballroom audience while recalling the band’s 2011 visit and expressing his gratitude for those in attendance. The London-born indie rock band released its sophomore album, Glow & Behold, in September 2013;¬†recently added a new member to the lineup, Mr. Ed Hayes; and stopped in Arizona to perform with Ancient History (watch video), Daisy Face (watch video) and Bear State (watch video).

Thirteen songs were on Yuck’s set list for the evening: Six were from the new album, five were on 2011’s debut release, one was a new song called “Another One” that Bloom said no one has heard before, and another was a cover of New Order‘s “Age of Consent.” How’s that for balance?

Bloom hasn’t been Yuck’s “frontman” for long, but he seems comfortable in his place. Throughout the night he was perfectly involved and present. He made a strong case for lowering the drinking age, insisting that the younger generation could teach the older generation a thing or two. He took the phone out of the hands of a fan who just couldn’t put it down and in a plot twist, slid it in his back pocket and performed the rest of the song with a smile on his face while the fan nervously bobbed along.

Yuck ended its set with “Operation” and left the stage. Even though the audience gave the quietest request (that I’ve ever witnessed)¬†for an encore, the band returned to the stage for two more tracks. “We’re gonna play some more songs for y’all,” Bloom said. “Good use of y’all,” countered a concertgoer. “Thank you, glad you approve.” And so began the “Memorial Fields” and “Georgia” encore, and everyone approved.

Were you at the show? Tell us what you thought in the comments section below, and see some photos and video from Yuck’s performance…

Yuck, Yuck review, show review, Crescent Ballroom, Max Bloom

Yuck, Yuck review, show review, Crescent Ballroom, Mariko Doi

Yuck, Yuck review, show review, Crescent Ballroom, Ed Hayes, Mariko Doi, Jonny Rogoff

Yuck, Yuck review, show review, Crescent Ballroom, Ed Hayes

Yuck, Yuck review, show review, Crescent Ballroom, Max Bloom

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  1. Bear State / Yuck – Live in Phoenix | Free Indeed - […] after each song. This show even got some nice press before and after the event, by local sites like…

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