Concert Review: Yumi Zouma @ U Street Music Hall (10/24/17)

Yumi Zouma
Yumi Zouma (Photo Credit: Aaron Lee)

Electropop at its dreamiest, Yumi Zouma gave the DC faithful a memorable show!

Long before the live music started, Christie Simpson walked across the U Hall floor to the band’s dressing room in jeans and a sweater, presumably returning from exploring DC.

Hopefully she and her Yumi Zouma bandmates enjoyed themselves. A lot has changed in DC and the U.S. since they (from New Zealand) last performed at DC9 in June 2016.

As the band members entered the stage, now changed into ‘concert attire’, the crowd pushed forward from their dark corners and seats and huddled groups to form a sturdy barricade of fans. Leading the charge were ‘super dance girl’ and ‘sorta dance guy’, and a room full of smiles.

They started with a song from their second album, Willowbank, which just dropped in early October. In all, six of the 14 songs they gave us came from the new album. “Depths (Pt. 1)” looks at hopelessly fighting consequences, and has the cool refrain ‘Seriously, at last it bothers me’ and later ‘I had to learn it, to savor the consequences’.

Their setlist comprised a mostly new grouping of songs compared to the show I witnessed at DC9. Notably, they only played three songs from their first album, Yoncalla, including the second song, “Keep It Close To Me”. And likely my favorite song by them “Barricade (Matter of Fact)”. Until I change my mind tomorrow. But this version was hard to beat as the whole band start jamming on stage with guitars and whatever else they could play. “Yesterday” was also a refreshing reminder of how much I enjoyed listening to Yoncalla last year.

Yumi Zouma is Christie on vocals, Sam Perry, Josh Burgess and Charlie Ryder on guitar. And everyone with a keyboard. There was a fifth member for this show. As background, Charlie and Josh formed the band by recording a song virtually and sending the demo to Cascine, which became their label.

Another new song, “Carnation”, shows off their slow side and highlights Christie’s bell clear voice. The older “Sålka Gets Her Hopes Up” is a slinky, hair tossing song, about trying to keep someone from leaving.

They came back for the first encore with the new “Half Hour”, which is now my favorite song from Willowbank. Until I change my mind. Okay, maybe it’s “December”. Or maybe not. You decide.

I didn’t change my mind however on how much I enjoy listening to Yumi Zouma play live. Unfortunately, they didn’t sell out U Street Music Hall this time, but now that you know, you’ll be able to help pack the next venue they play in DC!

Depths (Pt. 1)
Keep It Close To Me
Song for Zoe & Gwen
Us, Together
Barricade (Matter of Fact)
Other People
The Brae
Sålka Gets Her Hopes Up

Half Hour

Choice A

Choice B

Author: Jeremy Bailey

Writer and editor living in Washington, D.C.

3 thoughts on “Concert Review: Yumi Zouma @ U Street Music Hall (10/24/17)”

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