Close up of Yheti as he takes the stage.

Yheti took Denver on an emotional roller coaster venturing through our perception of sight, sound, and touch on March 15th, headlining his largest gathering of “Earth ppl” to date. He made his Mission Ballroom debut alongside experimental bass pioneers Resonant Language, VCTRE, Mt. Analogue, and HoneyBee. The collective curated a one-of-a-kind, immersive sonic landscape. It was one for the books.

Full crowd shot of Mission Ballroom during Yheti's set

Can You Feel it Now?

Deep low end bass lines reverberated through the crowd. Anticipation and excitement were tangible as each artist took the stage. Dancing and moving were nonnegotiable as the frequencies engaged with concertgoers. The complex rhythms and beats of each performance kept listeners’ minds on alert.

Cross-genre influences seamlessly blended over a theme of unconventional sound structure. Overall, the unpredictability of abstract elements and sounds were consistent throughout each artist’s performance.

If you didn’t know what experimental bass was before, you certainly did now. Mission Ballroom was on its toes, prepared to expect the unexpected. The tone was officially set as Yheti took the stage.

Close up of Yheti as he takes the stage.

Wacky and Waving

In true avant-garde fashion, Yheti gave a melodic, autotuned thanks to the supporting artists and concertgoers for making the special night possible. After all, it is no small feat to headline Mission Ballroom. The mutual excitement and enthusiasm brought a harmonious feeling of synchronicity over the venue. We were in this together.

“Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm-Flailing Tubemen! Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm-Flailing Tubemen!” Yes, you are reading that correctly. Yheti began his set by sampling this notorious cut scene from a 2015 Family Guy episode.

Laughter sporadically broke out as the niche sound bite resonated with pockets of concertgoers. Decorating both left and right corners of the stage, the approximately 20ft tall, white Tubemen balloons suddenly made more sense.

These stage decorations were just the beginning of Yheti’s vision, however. As if spoken into reality, a herd of colorful guests swarmed the stage! Now most of us may have seen these inflatable advertising air-balloons at some point in our lifetime, but not like this. Perhaps foreshadowing their arrival, an illustration of the Tubeman can be found on the cover art of Yeti’s brand new EP, ON THE WAY.

Tubemen Slingshot

Time to Get Weird

Without warning, pairs of blue, pink and orange Tubemen emerged from shadows, bringing the familiar Family Guy clip to life! Sporting Yheti’s psychedelic smiley face, these minion-like characters were undoubtably on a silly mission. Yheti then began to mix in a reimagined version of his popular track, “Weird Trumpet.” The Tubemen then waved to and fro, wiggling their inflated bodies to the otherworldly sounds of Yheti’s performance.

As if playing a game of Simon Says, the crowd followed suit. Mission Ballroom was officially wacky and waving, a sight to see!

Laughter and smiles were inevitable as the un-seriousness of the Tubemen ensued. It was a performance within a performance. The colorful characters danced and frolicked around the stage as Yheti took us deeper down the rabbit hole of his mix.

The Tubemen’s cartoonish antics peaked as they launched Yheti merch into the crowd using a giant, three person-operated slingshot! With T-shirts flying overhead, the crowd was fully engaged in childlike play.

Finally, warm, enveloping bass tones made their way into the atmosphere, signaling a vibe switch. The Tubemen waddled to center stage for a group hug as they said their final goodbyes to the crowd. These would not be the last of Yheti’s antics for the evening, though.

Blue Tubemen preparing to fire slingshot.

Hypnosis

Like the start of a new chapter, Yheti created a seamless blend, transitioning his set into a calming downtempo mix. The atmosphere of the venue noticeably switched as warm bass tones wrapped around them. Meanwhile, whimsical visuals of morphing faces and deep forestry faded in and out on screen. Sounds of ethereal tones and melodies invoked feelings of euphoria, encouraging introspection among the crowd. The energy in the room shifted. “Wait a minute,” I thought, “Are we being hypnotized?”

Yheti;s hypnotic visuals.

The Swirly People

Unexpectedly, approximately 12-foot-tall rod puppets emerged in the crowd! Each was designed with a familiar black and white swirl pattern often associated with hypnosis.

The Swirly People marched their way through with no real direction. Perhaps they wanted to assert their dominance as they towered over us tiny concertgoers. Depending on the point of view, these puppets appeared as actual giants with the heads of many only reaching up to their waist. These Swirly People did not have a face or any discernable features. Their purpose was intentionally unclear.

In comparison to the wacky, colorful antics of the Tubemen, the monochromatic Swirly People were ominous and thought provoking. The stark contrast pointed to how Yhetis music spans a wide and vast range, and thus can be considered polarizing. The collection of characters throughout his performance were the physical embodiment of that dynamic. The message was genius in its simplicity.

The Swirly People

Closing Time 

As the night came to an end, one last surprise was in store for Mission Ballroom. Giant white beach balls were release into the crowd, bringing up the collective energy up one last time! You either kept the ball afloat or got hit in the head. For those with floor seats a game of giant beach volley ball ensued. The tempo and energy picked back up as Yheti’s set came to an unforgettable close.

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