Home > Indie Rock, Rock & Pop, World Music > REVIEW: Yann Tiersen @ the Wonder Ballroom (Portland, OR – – 4/29/09)

REVIEW: Yann Tiersen @ the Wonder Ballroom (Portland, OR – – 4/29/09)

30th Apr 09 (Thu) Leave a comment Go to comments

(that’s unnatural)

So, I was soooo stoked about seeing French musician Yann Tiersen for the first time.  His albums are quite delightful.  I, like many people in the States, first heard of him via the soundtrack/score to Amelie.  But then based on the Brooklyn Vegan (photo credit above) and photobear 2009 tour reviews, I got a little sad.  No accordion, very little violin, and Yann on guitar for most of the night!? Pardon my French, but… viens m’enculer!? Viens m’enculer!?

Well, I didn’t know how it would turn out; so I figured it’s still a rare occasion to see Yann in the U.S.  I already had the tickets, it was only 2 hours away… so… I gotta go.  No photos allowed at the venue.  Boo.

The opener, Skinni Dip yogurt (on Burnside – downtown), was awesome.  The opener (at the venue), Asobi Seksu, played far too long.  I’m having a bad streak of uninteresting / painful openers.  Sorry.  Just didn’t like them at all.

Yann Tiersen and his band came on around 9:45pm, and the first two solid songs were rock numbers that had very little resemblance of a Yann Tiersen song.  The 3rd song was finally one I recognized, but only vaguely as it was turned into some sort of messy, too fast rock blast.

No try on the set list… it’s too difficult to remember song names originating in a foreign language to mine.  Also, the set that we caught didn’t even seem to be a Yann Tiersen show.  I mean, I have 95% of his catalog (all but the latest Tabarly soundtrack)… and the songs were completely foreign to the crowd.  Had I wanted to go to a decent/mediocre rock band play a poorly mixed show, I would have gone to my local rock venue and paid $3 to see what was going on that night.  I went to see Yann Tiersen’s songs in a live setting.  Unfortunately, we really didn’t get that.  I mean, I’m all for artistic expression, and the artist doing what they feel is their artistic direction versus what the fans “want” – – but to some extent on a live tour, you’d expect to give the fans what they expect… again, at least to some extent.

Maybe this was his French way of pulling a prank on us stupid Americans.  It just makes you wonder.  Oh well… if he comes back, I’m not buying tickets until I read some reviews with more mention of accordion solos. :)

The Appropriate Linkage:

~Dan – np: CelldwellerSymbiont -EP- & then… O.S.I.Blood

To cleanse the palate… here’s what I was hoping for in a Yann Tiersen show…


(or, from Amelie)

Sigh. Maybe next time.

  1. Andrew Strobridge
    30th Apr 09 (Thu) at 2:01 pm

    I feel like thats the main feeling I’m getting back from people. I definitely would have loved to hear some accordion and piano don’t get me wrong. But having frequently listened to his other 15+ albums I was pretty sure he wasn’t going to just be playing his Amelie stuff. I guess I wasn’t expecting all that stuff or I probably would have been disappointed too.

    • 30th Apr 09 (Thu) at 4:26 pm

      Yeah, I’ve got his other stuff, too… I wasn’t expectikng an Amelie show… but a lot of his other music isn’t what I heard last night either. Oh well… maybe next time. :)

  2. Armo
    30th Apr 09 (Thu) at 8:10 pm

    I couldn’t enjoin the show! In my head I was ” Please, stop that!” especially this strange noise from the synthesizer , it was killing my ears! Also the sound was really bad by the acoustic of the room and very very loud, I should bring some earplugs. I really like Rock but that was just making noise!!! I can tell you, I’m French, and I was so happy to go to his concert, here in Portland, but I didn’t even understand one of the song’s words since the acoustic was so lame!!!
    I was sooooooo disappointing because it was totally not what I was expecting to ear! And I think I wasn’t the only one because all along the concert I could see a lot of people leaving the place! He should play what the audience is coming to ear and not just is new world!
    Well I should go to his concert 6 years ago!

    • 30th Apr 09 (Thu) at 8:40 pm

      I hear ya, buddy. I had earplugs and it was still too loud.

  3. Mike
    30th Apr 09 (Thu) at 11:32 pm

    I, too, went into this concert not knowing what to expect. First of all, though, I agree that the opening act played far too long. For the first time in my life, I hated an opening band. The lead singer’s vocals seemed way out of touch with the rest of the music. Way too much strobe lights going on, too. It doesn’t help that the acoustics at the Wonder Ballroom are not good.

    On to Yann. I am a big fan of his Amelie and Good Bye Lenin soundtracks. I also listen to Les Retrouvailles on occasion. While I did not know any of the songs, I really enjoyed the show. Sure, some piano and more violin would have been nice. The violin tunes that he did play were spectacular. One of the later rock songs they played on guitar was similar to a Amelie or Good Bye Lenin track (can’t recall the notes right now). Sort of a remix, if you will. Great show, and I left yearning more.

  4. logan
    4th May 09 (Mon) at 3:20 pm

    I purposely skipped the opener and it sounds like that was prudent. As far as Yann’s show goes, I left with really mixed feelings. I love some of his more simplistic compositions, but I was also moved by some of his more guitar driven stuff….right until that insane woman on the synth fired up the space ship sounds, which she inevitably did on every track!

    This was not the show I was expecting, but I was very ok with it in general.

  1. 19th May 09 (Tue) at 12:47 am

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