I don’t think a single person walked out of the Corner Hotel just a little bit in love with Yeo.
Yeo‘s refusal to be nailed down into one genre is reflected in his musical-chair like rotation of instruments. It was the keytar one minute, bass guitar the next, and serenading the crowd at the edge of the stage after that. His music can be described as anything from trap, to trip hop, to 8bit.
Much like his music, Yeo’s lighting is impressively strobey and abrasive, inspired by static and television colour bars. Opening act SAATSUMA was out to impress as well, delivering a stunning rendition of their track ‘Floating’. It wasn’t the last we saw of them either, with Yeo bringing lead singer Memphis Kelly out during his set to accompany. He also brought out a saxophonist, for a highlight of the night ‘Jetcooler’. While it’s no longer a surprise to see brass instruments making guest appearances in any genre of music, this guy looked like he was about to blow up his lungs with his saxophoning talents.
‘Quiet Achiever’ was another crowd pleaser. It’s a good song, but it’s even better live. Yeo also performed his cover of Japanese Wallpaper‘s ‘Forces’. Along with this local love in, as expected, there was a bit of pre-requisite hometown ego-stroking. With legitimate reason though – Melbourne is lucky enough to not have any shitty lockout curfews (touch wood).
However, the city has had a string of unfortunate venue shutdowns. When his tour was first announced, the Melbourne show was to be held at Shebeen Bandroom, which regretfully closed down in June this year (RIP T_T). So Yeo’s show got moved to the Corner Hotel – a much bigger capacity of 800 versus 200 at Shebeen. I wondered about the logistics of this move, and Yeo read my mind, saying, “We’ve always been scared to play it because we never had enough people interested in our music”.
But with his signature cap and Andrew the drummer in tow, Yeo commanded the Corner’s stage. There was no need for that fear after all. He was super ready to engage with the crowd, completely down to earth and his graciousness was clearly supported by the unpretentious crowd.
Yeo, you’ve got game.
Based in: Melbourne, Australia.
Latest album: Ganbaru, out February 2016.
Sounds like: SAFIA, Ngaiire, The Kite String Tangle.
Say what? Yeo once wrote a country album. In fact, we found out a lot about Yeo in an interview we did with him back in 2014.