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Art Basel Music: YACHT Makes It Rain at Electric Pickle, December 1

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YACHT
Electric Pickle
Thursday, December 1, 2011

Better Than: Yachting on Biscayne Bay.

"Anybody have any questions?" asked frontwoman Claire Evans three songs into YACHT's set at the Electric Pickle last night.

"I love you!" someone shouted back.

"That's not a question," she answered.

True, but we really do love you, YACHT. And last night's show might have taken us over the edge into perilous adoration.

We first saw this band live at the very same venue in 2009. But that show was much different. For starters, YACHT's 2009 production was little more than a MacBook and two mics. The band also played the Pickle's upstairs room. And all of the music seemed pre-programmed, leaving Jona Bechtolt to only press play and sing along with Evans.

No complaints, though, as the duo more than made it up with infinite stage presence and charisma.

Last night, however, Bechtolt and Evans took it to the next level with a live band. Three new band members have been added to YACHT's lineup since we saw them in 2009. And as a result, the band's sound has become much more bombastic (in a good way) while still allowing for plenty of improvisation.

And indeed, YACHT was forced to improvise. As the band kicked into "Afterlife," a video that features the baptism Evans and Bechtolt in a large body of water, the clouds started to roll in and then came the rain. The effect was surreal, as if YACHT had summoned these showers themselves.

They took a minute to bring large umbrellas onstage and cover sensitive equipment. We yelled, "The projectors are gonna die!"

"We all have to die sometime," Evans shot back.

But as quickly as the rain had began to fall, the clouds parted, allowing YACHT to continue without having to worry about circuitry getting wet.

"When are you going to play 'Psychic City'?" someone asked.

"Toward the end of the set. So you are going to have to sit around," Evans said coyly.

Awesome renditions of "Summer Song," "Ring the Bell," "Utopia," "Dystopia (The Earth is on Fire)," "Beam Me Up," and "I Walk Around" came next. Then there was the most skillful cover of the B-52's "Mesopotamia" ever.

Sure, Evans and Bechtolt's version didn't veer far from the original source material. But still, it was stellar. And it helped to underline the importance of that particular New Wave band's influence on YACHT.

Finally, as Evans promised, the show closed with "Psychic City," eliciting a crowd-wide sing-along. And like that they were done. No encore, but we left more than satisfied.

Critic's Notebook

Personal Bias: D-F-A.

The Crowd: Free events kind of killed the number of people who attended. But trust us, the $20 cover was more than worth it.

Overheard in the Crowd: "Me and my friends dared this guy to go up and dance onstage. We didn't think he'd do it."

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