|Pete Yorn - photo by John V|
Singer-songwriter Pete Yorn has been delighting his loyal cadre of avid fans (myself included) with his tuneful blend of rock, pop & folk since his debut album musicforthemorningafter was released in 2001. On Friday, December 2, he played to a packed house at The Outer Space in Hamden. Yorn is touring in support of his latest release, ArrangingTime. It was a terrific performance, featuring a generous helping of songs from the new disc, including the propulsive show opener, the catchy “Screaming at the Setting Sun,” the alternative rock sounding “She Was Weird” and the beautiful, 1960s baroque pop flavored “Summer Was A Day.”
Of course there were also the fan favorites, like the signature hit “Strange Condition,” the ballad “Just Another” and “Murray,” which inspired one of the most ebullient audience sing-alongs of the evening. He even threw in one of my favorites “Paradise Cove,” from his under-appreciated 2009 release, Back & Fourth. Yorn was in fine voice, notably on the lovely ArrangingTime track “Halifax” and a plaintive cover of John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy,” as well as an impressive "Life On A Chain." His guitar playing was strong & assured, and the top-notch band provided strong support throughout the show. The group featured Scott Seiver on drums, John Spiker on bass & Joe Kennedy on guitar, keyboards & harmonica. They were all fantastic, and it was obvious from their interaction that they enjoyed playing together. These masterful musicians helped enhance the soundscapes of the music, adding extra energy & dimension to the live versions of these excellent songs; and they rocked.
Yorn spoke briefly in between numbers about the genesis of (or influences on) some of his songs, and how his thinking had changed about some of the tunes he wrote back in his 20s now that he's a bit older. The intimate nature of The Outer Space lent itself well to his melodic, atmospheric music. After an almost two hour performance, Yorn & the band tore through a fantastic version of “For Nancy, (Cos It Already Is) ” to close the concert and left us all wanting more. It was a spectacular show, and I definitely suggest catching Pete Yorn live in the future if you possibly can. He may not be a household name to some music fans, but he is a talented artist who has a great sound and an array of excellent songs in his catalog. I’d also highly recommend ArrangingTime, which is a wonderful album. Here are links to acoustic versions of “Halifax” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcKoh3jcCC8 and “Summer Was A Day” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsOsYx7uGsQ.