Yard Act

Review by Abby Foster @abbohmb
Photos by Jennie Book @jenniebookphotography

Where’s My Utopia?” asks Yard Act on their latest album.  For a packed house of San Franciscans on June 4th, utopia was at the Independent on Tuesday night where James Smith and the rest of Yard Act delighted fans with a high energy show that included songs from their new album as well as fan favorites from the past.

The tour includes vibrant singer and songwriter Smith, a stoic Ryan Needham on bass, Sam Shipstone on guitar, and Jay Russell on drums. They were supported by back-up singers Lauren Fitzpatrick and Daisy Smith, who filled in some nice harmonies and even took center stage for a couple of songs with some synchronized dance moves.

The band opened with three quick high-energy songs, and then Smith really began to feed off of the crowd’s energy, exploding around the stage, jumping off amps, rolling on the floor, flipping mic stands. By the time they played “We Make Hits” about midway through the show, the band and the audience alike were jumping.  

This new album moves away from the minimalism of some of their previous work. It’s full of rhythmic percussion and deep bass lines. I overheard two millennials discussing the show: “They’re kind of like LCD Soundsystem meets Chk Chk Chk.”  I had to agree.

The 15-song setlist was balanced and progressed smoothly. The band members really seemed to be enjoying themselves, and the crowd fed off of this energy. They finished their encore with “The Trenchcoat Museum” and the crowd showed its appreciation, lingering even after the band members had departed. With this type of high-energy performance combined with top notch danceable songwriting, I’m certain Yard Act will continue to sell out shows throughout this tour and beyond. And the opening act, Font, was impressive. Catch them live if you get the chance–you won’t regret it! For all the latest news and info check out @yardactband and www.yardactors.com