Yelle is a French electropop group that just finished their first tour of the U.S. Formed originally in Paris when MySpace ruled, the group is only now finding a more international and mainstream audience. Mainly promoting their new album, “Safari Disco Club”, the group mostly performed material from this new album at the Masquerade on April 25, but a few of the more popular tunes from their debut album, “Pop Up”, popped up (pun definitely intended) here and there throughout the show.
The show was at the Masquerade’s Hell Room, which is a smaller room, about the size of the old Under the Couch, that could hold maybe 300 people if it was packed tight. This made the show a little more intimate as the audience could get pretty close to the performers. It would have been more appropriate for a metal band or rock show down in that room. The juxtaposition between the peppy electronic music and the decor was striking.
The show opened with French Horn Rebellion, an indie electronic band, whose funky sounds and eclectic style kicked off the show with a bang. They pumped fun, colorful music through the audience and put everyone in a good mood, especially those who hadn’t heard of them. Being similar to Yelle much of the audience received the band well.
Yelle has been touring with Katy Perry in the UK and came right off that leg of the Teenage Dream tour straight into the US for the first time. They toured all around the US and are currently headed into Australia and Japan to bring their music down under and beyond. In many cities, the group has played for huge audiences, but here in Atlanta, the crowd was a little smaller than they are used to. However, the crowd was very enthusiastic and fed energy to the onstage performers. The show was not sold out like many of their other shows are, but that by no means meant that the audience was not welcoming. In fact, all the energy from a sold-out show seemed to be compacted into fewer frenetic people.
Even though the crowd was a little smaller than what the group is used to, they still came out to the merchandise table to meet any fans that were still there. It was probably an hour or so after the show before the band really parted ways with the audience. They stayed and talked with anyone and everyone who was there, even after playing the show and visiting with many fans. They didn’t leave anyone out and were not in a rush to get away. They connected with their fans and were very well received. Any fan had the opportunity to talk with any of the members if they just waiting long enough. This is not the kind of treatment fans would get from a popular, radio-friendly artist. The band made an impression of a down-to-earth and genuinely interested group. They even took tips of places to see and things to do in the Atlanta area.
The group only has three members: a drummer, a keyboardist, and a singer. The form keeps the group focused and disciplined. The drummer, who goes by the name “GrandMarnier,” was especially on for the show. The only misstep of the entire show was Julie Budet’s singing. The music does not have a vocal focus, so her pitchiness was not a deal breaker. While she may not be the best singer, she definitely makes up for it in energy and verve. Prancing around in a neon red leopard suit, she threw herself into the show. The group played material from both of their albums, and even played a remix. The show was indeed a safari disco club with funky rhythms, danceable beats, and more than a little playfulness.
Overall, Yelle killed it. Each song they performed was fantastic and the meet and greet after the show was awesome. They were in touch with their fans and were interested to talk to everyone. The opening act, French Horn Rebellion, made more than a few new fans. With only a minor hiccup, the entire show was super fun and was basically a big dance party. The entire audience was in a good mood and that put the performers in a similar disposition. Unfortunately, Yelle will probably not be back anytime soon as their tour keeps getting more and more dates and the group is bound to tire of the road. However, as soon as they announce they are coming back, more new fans are bound to snatch up tickets, so make sure you can get to this party.