Yann Tiersen at the Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Los Angeles | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Yann Tiersen

Yann Tiersen at the Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Los Angeles, January 29th, 2011

Feb 01, 2011 Photography by David Studarus Web Exclusive
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Yann Tiersen has recorded three soundtracks and six studio albums. On stage, he dresses like he’s auditioning for a slot in the Seattle grunge scene, and shreds on the violin as though he long since bested the devil down in Georgia—all whist projecting the carefree, slacker attitude that this all (all being, but not limited to: a sold out venue, U.S., tour, excellent hair) “just happened.”

In short—he’s a rock star.

The first U.S. date in support of last year’s solo album, melancholy stand-out Dust Lane, the bulk of the material from Saturday night’s Los Angeles performance might have come as a surprise to those who know Tiersen best for 2001’s Amélie. While a cut from the doe-eyed French film soundtrack did make an appearance (albeit a very-reworked version) during the encore, the night was devoid of accordions and gamines.

Instead, Tiersen and his five-member band concentrated on creating roaring walls of orchestral noise, looping violin, guitar, mandolin, and all matter of keyboard to create a sound that tip-toed up to overwhelming, but never set foot over the line.

Perhaps the night’s only shortcoming, it became clear early on that Tiersen’s voice is too wispy when contrasted with the dense instrumentals. However, he circumvented this drawback by having the majority of his band members sing along with him—the resulting men’s choir falling somewhere between eerie and ethereal.

Tiersen’s instrumental mastery however, did not fail to impress. At the set’s midway point, he dismissed his band and performed a double-and-triple-stop filled violin solo called “The Wire.”* A ridiculously lush and technically challenging piece, it was a genre-crushing, awe-inspiring moment. Of course, riding on the ebb and flow of his crescendo-filled compositions, Tiersen delivered not one awe-inspiring moment, but an entire set of heartfelt, encompassing, and all-together remarkable music.

Track list:

1. Count Down

2. Dust Lane

3. Dark Stuff

4. Kala

5. Amy

6. Till the End

7. The Wire

8. The Train

9. Ashes

10. Chapter 19

11. Palestine

12. Fuck Me


13. Best of Times (The Trial)

14. Le Quartier

15. Amelie

* I’ve come to conclusion that several times per tour, all performers should be forced to play something—anything—above the skill level of the material they’re presenting. Write a piece for the occasion, pull something out of the classical or classic canon—I don’t care. Just remind me why you’re on stage and I’m not. I’d rather leave the show cursing my five-year-old self for not pay attention in piano lessons than high on the delusion that I too could be a rock star.

View the gallery of photos.



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