My friend Kristine invited me to go see Pete Yorn do a free in-store appearance at Vintage Vinyl in St. Louis last weekend. I'd heard his name but wasn't at all familiar with Yorn. He would be performing a sold-out show at Blueberry Hill later that night, so those who couldn't get tickets formed a decent-sized crowd amid the racks of used CDs. Yorn seemed laid-back and unassuming, clad in a retro western shirt and jeans with an old man's hat. He began the set by telling us he'd just woke up after partying like Stillwater in Lawrence, Kansas the night before. Since Kristine saw him strolling around The Loop about two hours before the gig, I guess that means he's sleepwalker. Perhaps that's the reason his new album is called "Nightcrawler"?
Yorn began his set quietly rocking with "Strange Condition" and then "On the Road". He took an audience request and played "June" although he complained it was inappropriate to play it in July. He then played "The Man" off the EP they were promoting - a sampling of his country-western stylings. He played a new song from "Nightcrawler", which will be released on August 29, and concluded the 30-minute set with "For Nancy ('Cos It Already Is)".
Yorn showed off guitar prowess, standing alone with his acoustic guitar, as well as an ability to hold the audience's attention with nicely observed songwriting, a mix of genres, a playful sense of humor evidenced by his stage patter, and a subtle yet powerful voice. I look forward to hearing more of his stuff.