Summer is finally settling in Austin, Texas. The Mohawk quickly filled with the city’s most chic and fashionable kids, sweating and laughing, shaking their hips to the muffled beats that murmured from the stage. The sold-out show filled the crowd with a high sense of anticipation among the Southern heat, humidity and gusts of cool wind.
After the crowd became more restless, The French Horn Rebellion started out the evening with racing colored lights, a strobe, and their adrenaline-rushing track, “What I Want”, featuring a flawless French Horn solo. The French Horn Rebellion’s performance was one of theatrics, including the hornist hanging from the pillar, battles between a guitar and a horn, amusing conversations amongst the two artists, silly dances, and their unforgettable request for the audience to dance as their favorite animal. There were hippos, giraffes, monkeys, and the man with the an epic mullet attempting to be a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Primarily performing tracks from their latest EP, the band closed out their performance with “Up All Night”.
Before actually being able to see Yelle herself, the audience roared. Wearing an obscure cloak for two songs, masking her face– the audience’s eyes were completely locked as she teased the audience in her eerie suit. Starting the evening off with “S’éteint Le Soleil”, Yelle impressively pounded the drums in the back of the stage, in-front of an enormous white “Y”. Eventually, Yelle revealed beneath her cloak a futuristic, metallic gold dress during one of her most familiar hits, “Ce Jeu”. The audience, danced, mouthing words in French, despite the unknown translation. Continuing to perform tracks from her latest album, Safari Disco Club, Yelle showcased a Malibu Barbie feel with “Unillusion,” followed by the eerie and harrowing track, “La Musique”.
Disappearing shortly and briefly confusing the audience, Yelle returned in a snug red, leopard-patterned suit, singing “J’ai Bu”. Thanking the audience for welcoming the band, Yelle then stated that the next song is “a little bit naughty’. With an unhesitating roar from the audience, Yelle performed “Je Veux Te Voir” with flawless dance moves, moving freely about on stage.
After showcasing her dance moves, Yelle asked the audience if they understand French. Most of us lying, claimed yes, but she offered to give us a lesson. After a few laughs as she taught the audience “Bonjour” and “Je m’appelle Yelle”, she wrapped up the teachings with a dozen “Merci”’s. She continued with a few more tracks from her latest album.
After performing “Safari Disco Club”, Yelle thanked the audience once again, but after getting off of the stage, she was begged for an encore. A member from the band came out with camcorder, saying that he really want to hear the audience scream for an encore. Convinced the audience at The Hawk deserve an encore, Yelle returned and promised the crowd two more songs. Eventually, Yelle closed out the evening with a stellar performance of “A Cause Des Garcons”.
Unfortunately, the concert’s greatest flaw was the overpowering of the dance-inducing bass beats heavily swallowing the lyrics and voice of both of the artists. Instead of honestly enjoying the evening, half of the music performed by The French Horn Rebellion sounded like electronic house music. The craving for Yelle’s distinct and foreign voice was hardly satisfied by overpowering sounds of the bass.
Regardless, everyone headed out into the city for an incredible performance, and that is exactly what they got. The energy exuding from the stage that evening was a force to undeniably put a smile on everyone’s face. Ultimately, the lesson to be learned was that the French, well, the French know how to party.
(Yelle performed at Mohawk in Austin, Texas on April 22, 2011)