Walking into the Masquerade on Friday night, I could tell something was up. The usual crowd of indie-hipster kids had been replaced by a pack of wild party animals, straight out of some 80’s nightclub. Mohawks, off-the shoulder t-shirts and glow-in-the-dark accessories abounded and the early crowd seemed primed for a good time.
First up was local band Wowser Bowser. The crowd seemed to know them and as they launched into their set, the band threw inflated balloons into the crowd. Although they looked like they could have been in high-school, Wowser Bowser had at least a few really solid songs, although the computer loops backing their music were sometimes a little confusing to the overall sound. The trumpeter they brought up about halfway through the set was a nice addition, as was the female vocalist who joined the band for the last few songs.
Next on stage was Bobby Birdman, a backing member of headliners YACHT, now supporting the band as a solo artist as well. Birdman is a multi-instrumentalist and a talented one at that. As the crowd grew, Birdman upped the energy for his final few songs.
Finally, the rest of YACHT joined Birdman on stage, and the real show began. Lead by vocalist Claire L. Evans and Jona Bechtolt on multiple instruments, YACHT came out strong and never let the energy fade. The crowd danced and sang along, the entire venue transformed into a dance club from three decades ago. Evans writhed and danced, even wrapping herself up in her microphone chord at times and Bechtolt, along with the rest of the band, stayed in motion throughout the almost two-hour set. The crowd was ecstatic, and the glowing bracelets and necklaces were soon flying through the air.
Although musically, YACHT is not exactly my taste, they put on a great show. I’ve never seen the Masquerade as alive as it was on Friday night. If you like to dance and have a penchant for neon, YACHT is a live band not to miss.