TVD Package Deal: Adieu Monsieur Tiersen

Staff Writer Leah Henry attends the “Yawn Tiersen” show.

“Incredible Musical Talent”
—Clash

“Ingeniously Catchy”
—Mojo

“Unconditionally Beautiful”
—Artrocker

Yann Tiersen may be everything proclaimed on his website’s homepage (see quotations from Clash, Mojo, Artrocker above), but at the stroke of midnight, Tuesday, February 15th at 815 V Street, he was not an unconditionally beautiful, ingenious musical talent. Tiersen clambered on stage buzzed and/or stoned, and most notably, late. Having been to late shows at the 9:30 Club before, I know that doors open at 10:00, the opener goes on just after 10:00, and the main act saunters into the limes around 11:00.

In my poor attendance of late weeknight shows, I’ve never seen a musician so heavily hyped (album Dust Lane two years in the making), with a background as rich (soundtracks, studio and live albums, with over fifteen years of musicianship) as Guillaume Yann Tiersen’s, keep the crowd waiting only to have rendered himself too polluted to blow into his melodica. After multiple attempts — I counted five botched blows, then threw my hands up in frustration — and empty apologies for giggling too violently to hold the tube in his mouth, he tossed the song intro behind him and began again. On his wikipedia page, they state that “His live performances vary greatly.” Well, I hope so, and I am 100% certain this is not the variety they had in mind.

Thoughts prior to the show: “Man, I am tired, but this is worth it. A French composer, with a post-punk influence, whose music is more often called “avant-garde” than anything else — this guy is going to be a diamond!”

All of that aside, I would like to thank Monsieur Tiersen for collaborating with Shannon Wright on an album. I felt privileged to have her on the DC leg of this tour. Unfortunately, not everyone in attendance felt the same good fortune. “Could you talk just a little less loudly!? That would be great! Thanks!” Wright’s shrill cry quieted the chatty, disrespectful Tuesday night crowd.

I commend her for carrying creepy, loud, indie-rock songs all on her own, “With Closed Eyes” (from 2004’s Over The Sun) being my immediate live favorite. Her frenzied performance style combines soft whispers with raging screams inspiring nostalgia for the indie-folk I find so familiar and the ”coolness” of punk I envy. Wright was an unexpected surprise on whom Tiersen did not capitalize.

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  • DistrictDerrick

    Ha ha ha…hilarious and I am sorry that show sucked. On another point you do have to respect the artists that take control of their shows. Even if it is telling the crowd to shut up and let me play.

  • http://www.the-clever-pup.blogspot.com Hazel

    We saw Tiersen on February 22 in Toronto. He’s gifted, no doubt, but the music was somber, dull, dark and boring. First verse, just like the first – all the songs were the same. I’m an oldster and not familiar with his catalogue, just Amelie. I felt let-down. This was the most boring concert I’ve seen in 30 year of concert-going.

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