The tone for the night was set fairly early on for last night's Pete Yorn and Grandaddy show. At the end of Grandaddy's set, frontman Jason Lytle left the stage with a "thank you and enjoy Pete Yorn!" The leather jacket-wearing yuppie in front of me turned to his girlfriend and exclaimed, "did you hear that? He said 'enjoy Pete Yorn!' THAT WASN'T EVEN THEM!" Hmmm. Crazy looking hippies that play psychedelic pop along the lines of early Pink Floyd meets the Beach Boys or a pretty version of Bruce Springsteen? Yeah, I could see how you could get them confused!
That was hardly the only random story on a night full of them, however. The pairing didn't sound as strange on paper, but once inside the venue, it was clear that the indie demographic there for Grandaddy and the Pete Yorn mainstreamers were wholly separate crowds. Luckily for me, Grandaddy was as strong as ever, working through material from their two prior albums, as well as newbies from the pending Sumday release. While I was not familiar with the new stuff, it left me thirsting for a copy of the album, as it sounds like it's going to be a barn burner. "Hewlett's Daughter" and "AM 180" sounded great amongst the Sumday tunes, and although some jackneck who was too high from huffing the new car smell in his SUV and heckled the band with "well, it sure is weird!" in between songs, it was far from weird and much closer to great.
The man of the hour took to the stage to the delight of the Banana Republic stockholders. The second tune in was new single, "Come Back Home ." and it rocked appropriately. Yorn rocked and cooed his way through both Musicforthemorningafter songs and tracks from last week's shelf-hitter, Day I Forgot, with equal abandon. Another good story occurred, when I overheard Pete's mom admonishing people in her booth for speaking too loudly. "I'm Pete's mom, could you be quiet? I want to be able to hear him!" That was a ruling smackdown and one that invigorated my night, but not as much as the encore. Yorn led off with a solo rendition of a Jeff Buckley number and then played two more of his own songs. For the finale, he said "I wish I could say we wrote this, but we didn't." Hooray! It was going to be "Panic" by The Smiths, right? I had heard him play it last time I saw him and was waiting around to hear it again. Except, with the opening strums, I could tell it wasn't' "Panic" and I turned to thank my boy Don O'Neill for the snacks and the tickets, when I heard the vocal line. Holy shit! It wasn't "Panic" but it WAS one of my five favorite songs of all time, "She Bangs The Drums," by The Stone Roses. I was amazed, sitting there with a huge grin on my face as Yorn and crew rocked my favorite jam. A perfect way to end an amusing evening.