TVD Live: tUnE-yArDs, Beachland Ballroom, 9/27

Tuesday was essentially a Monday for me this week.

Everything was wrong, everything was blah, and I was wishing the day away and welcoming the night because I knew I would be inside the Beachland Ballroom getting to hear the soulful voice of Merrill Garbus, backed by the basslines of Nate Brenner and a couple of raw saxophones.

I had the utmost faith that the daring musicianship of tUnE-yArDs would save my day (and perhaps propel me through the rest of the week).

How do you describe tUnE-yArDs?

Look at the way the band spells its name—its a typographical nightmare. That right there should give you some insight. tUnE-yArDs is the kind of band that doesn’t ask you to dance, it implores. You cannot attend their show and stand there, immobile. It just won’t happen.

You’ll try—if you’re like me—yet about two minutes into one of their tunes, you’ll find your feet moving around, feel the sway of your hips and before you can regain composure, you’ll realize you’re having too much fun to care and you’ll just dance everything out. You might even wish you’d donned some face paint like much of the crowd.

tUnE-yArDs makes the music a freed soul would sing. Merrill is a tour-de-force, encapsulating a poetic voice the likes of Maya Angelou and displaying an unrelenting vocal prowess that cannot be compared.

Their set was a journey—the destination unknown. It was a spiritual conquest, a movement. It was an opportunity to collaborate with everyone in the Ballroom to release into the world a wave of positivity. I mean, the band lists its interests on Facebook as “altering the way the music industry functions to positively and responsibly impact our communities and our people, to act not only as soothing pacifiers with music but also activators, inspiring innovators, and revolutionary booty-shakers.” There isn’t a thing more beautiful than that.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some face paint to don and a little booty-shakin’ to do.

Photos: Erica Gannett

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