LIVE: Yellow Ostrich At The Echo (3/18/14)
By Sarabeth Oppliger on March 19, 2014
New York outfit Yellow Ostrich graced the Silver Lake music scene last night with a show that could easily set the standard for today’s indie rockers. In the age of electronic-infused music, Yellow Ostrich still hold tight to live instruments but have successfully managed to fuse classic indie with new-age rock.
In support of their third album, Cosmos, the quartet's energy was high in front of the dense crowd and channeled the maturity of a band aged upwards of a decade. Rightly so, frontman Alex Schaaf has been writing and recording music for over five years and Yellow Ostrich have experienced a number of member changes that have undoubtedly morphed the dynamic of the band. From what we can hear, it’s been in the best of ways.
Schaaf, who confessed that Cosmos was inspired by the Carl Sagan documentary, performed a thoughtful selection from the spectrum of Yellow Ostrich’s repertoire. Though their music has grown more confident and refined over the years, tracks from 2010’s The Mistress glided nicely alongside Strange Land and this year’s release.
With his vocals on point, Schaaf lilted and hummed his way through fan favorites “Elephant King” and “Whale” and crooned over pulsating bass lines on “Any Wonder.” While Schaaf tended to steal the spotlight with his mesmerizing stage presence, his company never faltered. With drummer Michael Tapper keeping the beat with a drum kit and synth, bassist Zach Rose plucked steadily along and Jared van Fleet managed his way around multiple instruments, moving around the stage nearly as much as Schaaf. The boys’ cohesive dynamic was apparent and made the show feel all the more intimate. Even when minor feedback issues threatened to break their flow, the band played through.
As if the musical talent of the evening weren’t memorable enough, the band hosted an on-stage marriage proposal for two fans donning matching homemade Yellow Ostrich shirts. Cheesiness aside, Schaaf and company congratulated the happy couple and dedicated the remainder of the set to that crazy little thing called love.
As the night drew to an end, nearly everyone in the audience sang and danced along as the band closed down the house with the ever-popular “Marathon Runner.” Uttering a humble collection of “thank-you’s” before exiting the stage, Schaaf and his band seemed hesitant to leave behind the appreciative crowd. But they did, leaving us reassured that they’d be back again soon. F