Listening to Giraffage is Like Being Seduced by a Foley Artist

Giraffage w/ Avidd, Chad Salty
Nov. 7, 2014
Brick & Mortar Music Hall, San Francisco

Brick & Mortar was ground zero for UC Berkeley audiosexuals this past Friday, when dozens of students and other musos came out to support alumnus Charlie Yin, better known in the electronic world by his stage name, Giraffage. Just a few weeks fresh off the road with Porter Robinson, where he performed as the main opener, this marked the last night of Yin’s three­-show “Bay Area Takeover” with DJs Avidd and Chad Salty.

Given that the show was 18+ admission, the scene was decidedly young and the energy was high. Avidd and Chad Salty slung dance­bait crowd-pleasers. The bills of backwards five-panel hats nodded in diagonal one-twos to bassy Drake melodies, and when Theophilus London & A$AP Rocky’s “Big Spender” came up, the crowd went H.A.M, booming along with lyrics sampled from the Broadway musical, Sweet Charity.

Yin stepped up and claimed the stage to the sounds of whooping cheers from his dedicated fanbase. Giraffage gained a good deal of popularity through buttery R&B remixes and tracks constructed from the layering of delicate, ambient-­like sounds. As Vaporwave visuals featuring cat cut-outs and anime flashed on the projector screen behind him, Giraffage’s set was decidedly more forceful this evening.

His deft track-layering still shone through, although instead of the familiar croon of “Someone to Call My Lover,” the crowd was treated to cheeky bouts of “uh huh, honey.” Yin, like any true post-­Internet, post-­ironic millennial, reveled in the unexpected, tickling the crowd’s guilty pleasure centers with hits by the likes of Michelle Branch and Miley Cyrus.

A communal chuckle­groan was experienced throughout the venue in response to Yin’s troll­y incorporation of a well-­known iPhone ringtone. “That’s my alarm clock,” said one attendee, “I’m up already!”

Giraffage makes body­moving music with dimension– reeling you in with a good hook and rewarding you with a solid and impeccably timed drop, only to take a quick left turn and transition into the next thing, so that the sound is never stale. He is as much a performer as he is a participant, his body bouncing and his limbs gesticulating, visible on stage from anywhere within Brick & Mortar’s near­full 250-person space.

Ostensibly, Giraffage’s overall end­game is to have and provide an A+ time. It was clear that the crowd got theirs, and Yin’s tweet immediately following Friday’s performance speaks volumes: “thanks San Francisco y’all are da best I love u :­)” followed by a 71-heart emoji variety.