Austin-based electronic musician Bayonne stopped by the Black Cat Tuesday to open for Two Door Cinema Club. With vocals, synths, and drums, he proved really quite absorbing and well worth seeing!
A good deal of the crowd showed up to see Bayonne in the sold-out show. And Bayonne (born Roger Sellers) did not disappoint. He threw himself across his synthesizers, bounded around his drums, and sang intensely into his mic while performing some songs from his debut album, Primitives (released in March via Mom+Pop), and improvising some affecting synth and drum numbers.
Bayonne proved a dynamic musician who used his voice as part of the collection of sounds deployed to round out occasionally ambient pop. While not a full-throated singer, he was effective in using his voice to convey a sense of loss and loneliness as fit his songs, which alternated between sounds fragile and grandiose. Remarkably, Bayonne was always in motion, hunching down to focus on his synthesizers in one minute and turning to beat his drums the next.
His original compositions are quite appealing, pun intended, including songs such as “Appeals,” “Waves,” and “Omar.” “Appeals,” although a sad song, has a very sunny, shuffling presentation that makes it a treat for the ears. “Waves” follows a similar pattern with a bit more percussion, and together the two songs definitely establish a “Bayonne sound.”
Watch Bayonne perform “Appeals” live for Out of Town Films in Philadelphia on Feb. 17, 2016:
“Omar” is an another appealing entry in Bayonne’s catalog where sunny synths belie lyrics of regret and loss. Although the song is intentionally vague about the source of Bayonne’s pain, but you certainly get a sense of loneliness in the words: “I thought I’d always be waiting/Now I’m not/Now I’m not.”
In performance, Bayonne works hard to engage the audience, who are won over by his earnestness and talent. Bayonne gives all of himself during his show, and you understand that he has fully invested himself in his music, which possesses and animates him.
Bayonne next appears with Day Wave on Saturday, June 11, in Columbia, Mo., and then he has a few more dates with Two Door Cinema Club next week. He launches a fresh tour in the fall with El Ten Eleven, and he’ll be appearing at the Black Cat again on Thursday, Nov. 3. He’s well worth checking out, so plan to get there early! Tickets are available at Ticketfly.
Here are a few more pictures of Bayonne performing at the Black Cat on Tuesday, June 7.