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Concert Sun May 08 2011

Review: Yelle @ Bottom Lounge, 5/6


Yelle (photos by Kirstie Shanley)

"Do you speak French Chicago?" purrs Yelle to her sold out audience Friday at the Bottom Lounge. The crowd chimes back an immediate and ecstatic "Oui," but language isn't really a barrier when your music clearly exist for the sole purpose of dancing, fun, and sex.

Gapers-Yelle-1.jpg
Yelle (photos by Kirstie Shanley)

The French pop trio (who only sing in French, hence the earlier question) first got attention stateside after releasing the infectious track "Je veux te voir," a bouncy bubblegum pop song that actually has somewhat racy lyrics if you speak the language. The band's debut album Pop Up was released, full of electro synthy filtered pop beats, a spastic '80s sounding album that was created with a late night dance floor in mind. The band toured the US, and crowds fell in love with the seductive pint size lead singer, Yelle (not her real name, but every dance queen needs a one word moniker). The band is now back with their follow-up, Safari Disco Club, a more polished and edited version of the band's debut.

The new live show also follows a similar theme to the album, literally running with the idea of a safari disco club. GrandMarnier and Tepr back the songbird while wearing safari khaki outfits (including matching green visors with mosquito netting), and the rotating outfits for Yelle include a jungle green moss-like cape, a slinky leopard print dress, and a shockingly hot pink leopard print bodysuit. The band clearly knows that with pop it's not always about the music, but about style and performance as well.

Gapers-Yelle-Favorite.jpg
Yelle (photos by Kirstie Shanley)

They kicked off their set with the slow burning, "S'├ęteint le soleil," before launching into their cover of Robyn's "Who's That Girl," in French of course. Yelle constantly flips between seductive and a bubbly ball of energy onstage, one second shimmying with the front of the crowd before pogoing and high kicking the next moment. It's like watching a live action performance of a Jane Fonda workout video, leotard and synchronized dance included. The trio is tight, mixing in elements of other songs (a bit of "Drop it Like it's Hot" into the intro of "Ce Jeu") and extending the clear crowd favorites. When the band drops "Je veux te voir," the entire room becomes a gyrating mass, not even dancing, just spastic and primal. If you want to find a crowd that doesn't stop moving and makes the temperature of a room rise at least 15 degrees, then go to a Yelle show.

The group didn't let up as well, but also created a perfect balance so the audience could have a moment to cool down before having to pump their fist and bounce in the air again. They deliver the syrupy sweet love song "Que veux-tu," while Yelle encourages everyone to hold their hands in the shape of a heart in the air. Couples kiss, people hug their sweaty friends, and it's a genuine sweet and sentimental moment. After everyone has caught their breath, the band closes out their set with the first single (and namesake) off the new album, "Safari Disco Club," and despite a few technical glitches (every good loud show blows a speaker from time to time) the band powers through, whipping the audience back into a frenzy to end the night. Overall Yelle puts on the perfect show to escape reality. It just goes to show that you don't always have to understand the language, all you have to do is feel the beat and let your hips do the rest.

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Yelle (photos by Kirstie Shanley)

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

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