Yard Act charmed at their Brooklyn live debut (pics, setlist)

Yard Act charmed at their Brooklyn live debut (pics, setlist)Published: March 23, 2022photo by Toby Tenenbaum

"It's our first time in New York, that was rubbish!" Yard Act frontman James Smith was chiding the Union Pool crowd for their not-as-ecstatic response as he'd have liked to his "Hello New York!" He was kidding, of course, and everyone at the band's first proper NYC show was chuffed, as they say, to be there.

Yard Act had just come from Austin, TX where they won SXSW's Gulke Award for best Developing Non-U.S. Act. You could see why. As good as Yard Act's debut album, The Overload, is (it's very good), the songs really ignite live, with the band giving their post-punky hooks extra oomph. But it's James Smith's charisma and wit that really makes the band. He gets compared to Jarvis Cocker a lot, which I didn't get till I saw them last night. His awkward-cool dance moves and witty, often profane, asides were instantly charming.

For example: In the middle of "Tall Poppies," Smith derailed the song for a discussion of pizza styles which then further devolved, with audience interjections, about Napoli FC. Right when you thought the song beyond repair, Smith jumped and it kicked back in for a big finish. There was a lot of back and forth with the audience like that. Like Jarvis, or Art Brut's Eddie Argos, he's a natural frontman who probably has a career in radio or TV if the whole rock n roll thing gets dull. That's not likely to happen any time soon, though.

Yard Act's tour is with Baba Ali, whose debut album was produced by Hot Chip's Al Doyle and whose new single "Black and Blue" came out via Yard Act's Zen FC label. The duo's dark electro style sounded pretty great at Union Pool, and Baba doesn't lack in the stage presence department either.

Pictures from the whole night by Toby Tenenbaum are in this post, and you can check out Yard Act's setlist below.

Yard Act, who played a stripped-down in-store set at Rough Trade on Monday, head to  Philly tonight and then return to NYC to play a sold out show at TV Eye on Thursday. The band also just announced that they'll be back in NYC this fall to play Bowery Ballroom on October 14. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday, March 25 at 10 AM. That's the only fall North American show they've announced so far, but all tour dates are listed below.

Meanwhile, Yard Act will make their US network television debut on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Thursday night (3/24), and you can watch a funny preview video they made for it below.

SETLIST: Yard Act @ Union Pool 3/23/2022
Dark Days
Payday
Witness (Can I Get A?)
The Overload
Pour Another
Tall Poppies
Rich
Fixer Upper
Land of the Blind

Encore:
Human Sacrifice
The Trapper's Pelts

YARD ACT – 2022 TOUR DATES
23 MAR 22 – JOHNNY BRENDA'S – PHILADELPHIA
24 MAR 22 – TV EYE – QUEENS COUNTY
25 MAR 22 – THE SINCLAIR – CAMBRIDGE
27 MAR 22 – THE GARRISON – TORONTO
29 MAR 22 – SLEEPING VILLAGE – CHICAGO
05 APR 22 – EARTH (EVOLUTIONARY ARTS HACKNEY) – LONDON
15 APR 22 – CASBAH – SAN DIEGO
16 APR 22 – COACHELLA VALLEY MUSIC AND ARTS FESTIVAL 2022 – INDIO
18 APR 22 – MADAME LOU'S – DOWNTOWN SEATTLE
19 APR 22 – DOUG FIR LOUNGE – PORTLAND
21 APR 22 – RICKSHAW STOP – SAN FRANCISCO
26 APR 22 – ZEBULON – LOS ANGELES
30 APR 22 – LIVERPOOL SOUND CITY 2022 – LIVERPOOL
11 MAY 22 – TRINITY CENTRE – BRISTOL
12 MAY 22 – THE GREAT ESCAPE 2022 – THE CITY OF BRIGHTON AND HOVE
17 MAY 22 – THE VENUE – DERBY – DERBY
18 MAY 22 – RESCUE ROOMS – NOTTINGHAM
19 MAY 22 – THE ZANZIBAR CLUB – LIVERPOOL
20 MAY 22 – THE IRISH CENTRE – LEEDS
21 MAY 22 – BAND ON THE WALL – MANCHESTER
22 MAY 22 – THE FOUNDRY SHEFFIELD – SHEFFIELD
23 MAY 22 – FRIARS COURT – WARRINGTON
24 MAY 22 – ELECTRIC CHURCH CLUB – BLACKBURN
25 MAY 22 – CHANTRY CHAPEL – WAKEFIELD
26 MAY 22 – O2 ACADEMY LEICESTER – LEICESTER
27 MAY 22 – NORWICH ARTS CENTRE – NORWICH
31 MAY 22 – TOLHUISTUIN – AMSTERDAM
01 JUN 22 – BLUE SHELL – COLOGNE
03 JUN 22 – STENGADE – KØBENHAVN
05 JUN 22 – PLAN B – MALMÖ
06 JUN 22 – MOLOTOW – HAMBURG
07 JUN 22 – FRANNZ CLUB – BERLIN
09 JUN 22 – ROTONDES – LUXEMBOURG
11 JUN 22 – TRABENDO – PARIS
13 JUN 22 – MUZIEKCENTRUM TRIX – ANTWERPEN
14 JUN 22 – L'AÉRONEF – LILLE
28 JUN 22 – EVENTIM APOLLO HAMMERSMITH – LONDON
01 JUL 22 – AFAS LIVE – AMSTERDAM
15 JUL 22 – DOUNE THE RABBIT HOLE 2022 – PORT OF MENTEITH
21 JUL 22 – STANDON LORDSHIP – ROYSTON
22 JUL 22 – TRUCK FESTIVAL 2022 – STEVENTON
27 JUL 22 – THE CLUNY – NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE
28 JUL 22 – THE CAVES – EDINBURGH
05 Aug 22 – OFF FESTIVAL – KATOWICE
07 AUG 22 – OFF FESTIVAL 2022 – KATOWICE
09 Aug 22 – ØYAFESTIVALEN – OSLO
13 AUG 22 – OYA FESTIVAL – OSLO
19 AUG 22 – LOWLANDS FESTIVAL 2022 – BIDDINGHUIZEN
01 SEP 22 – END OF THE ROAD FESTIVAL 2022 – SALISBURY
16 SEP 22 – THE BULLINGDON – OXFORD
17 SEP 22 – ESQUIRES – BEDFORD
18 SEP 22 – O2 INSTITUTE – BIRMINGHAM
21 SEP 22 – THE SUGARMILL – STOKE-ON-TRENT
22 SEP 22 – THE CRESCENT COMMUNITY VENUE – YORK
23 SEP 22 – THE POLAR BEAR – HULL
14 OCT 22 – BOWERY BALLROO – NYC
22 NOV 22 – SAINT LUKE'S – GLASGOW
23 NOV 22 – NEWCASTLE UNIVERSITY STUDENTS' UNION – NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE
24 NOV 22 – O2 ACADEMY LEEDS – LEEDS
25 NOV 22 – O2 RITZ – MANCHESTER
26 NOV 22 – MARBLE FACTORY – BRISTOL
27 NOV 22 – TRAMSHED CARDIFF – CARDIFF
29 NOV 22 – 1865 – SOUTHAMPTON
30 NOV 22 – CHALK – BRIGHTON – BUY