Zach Yudin’s music endeavors as Cayucas have been gaining some serious momentum since his band’s tour with Ra Ra Riot this past February. With their full length debut, Bigfoot, out now on Secretly Canadian, and some favorable reviews from Fader and the like, Yudin is back out on the road headlining. With a great opener along for the ride in the form of Canadian singer-songwriter JBM (Jesse Marchant), Cayucas’ first headlining show in Seattle was a great one, and it set the standard for hopefully many more to come.
Jesse Marchant opened the night with an excellent 30 minute set of his homespun wonders. In case you haven’t checked him out yet, JBM writes some incredibly beautiful music and just put out a new record, Stray Ashes, last year. Utilizing some serious multitasking, including looped acoustic guitar brilliance and playing drums and electric guitar at the same time, he isn’t one to be limited by numbers. On the gorgeous “From Me To You & You To Me”, Marchant looped the sweeping, expansive guitars all by hand before throwing his heartfelt vocals on top. As the set went on, the small early crowd in Barboza consistently moved forward until the stage was nearly lined for the end of JBM’s set. Leaving with a humble and heartfelt thanks to Cayucas, Marchant closed his excellent opener set and gained more than a few new fans in the crowd. Quite fitting too, considering how many in the building had come to see Cayucas after first seeing their excellent opener set for Ra Ra Riot back in February.
There is a pop brilliance to Cayucas. Zach Yudin has been working on the tunes we see in full glory on Bigfoot for a couple years now. We first saw a glimpse of them under his old moniker of Oregon Bike Trails back in 2011 on Father Daughter. But now, on Secretly Canadian, and with a little extra production help from the brilliant Richard Swift, Cayucas has a sound all unto itself, and Bigfoot is a record you could listen to a thousand times. Live, Yudin brings along his brother Ben and two others to fill out a full band setup. His beach tunes don’t have the slightest trouble moving from the record to the live setting. The house was dancing along to every cut, from the band’s theme song “Cayucos” to the happy head-banging brilliance of “Bigfoot”. Yudin and his band played the whole record along with a couple non album cuts like “California Sunshine”. While the venue was small, the place was packed with new fans. “You guys were better than Ra Ra Riot”, one impassioned listener yelled from the back. Yudin just smiled, too humble to take the compliment as fact. But whether or not you agree, there was no question that tonight, Cayucas did a fantastic job and left everyone in the house satisfied. Though it was short, Cayucas first headliner was very sweet, and I can guarantee I’ll be at the next one.