Clap Your Hands Say Yeah returned to Culture Collide as a headliner and the quirky beauty of frontman Alec Ounsworth’s voice made everybody go a little nuts. Ounsworth wandered up on stage, with a cap pulled low over his head and scratched the side of his face as if the crowd were watching him through a two-way mirror. There is no pretense, no warning of what’s to come.
A few songs in, they get to “Satan Said Dance,” the crowd and even the band itself can’t resist moving around. Everyone’s else’s enthusiasm is quickly surpassed by a pair of off-duty Culture Collide staff members rushing into the crowd and dancing with abandon. They had likely been looking forward to this moment longer than most. One of them is especially into it, breaking out some fancy footwork and seeing how high he can jump.
Meanwhile, off to the side of the stage, another scene is unfolding to the same soundtrack. A toddler in a pink tutu is trying to climb the barricade next to the stage, and the little girl’s mother is crouching down and patiently supporting her attempt, while the security guard on the other side looks on with a smile. Growing tired of the barricade, the girl starts to dance, smiling broadly as she tries to keep time, while her mom dances the twist in support before putting her on her shoulders so she can see the stage.
By the time the band gets to “Upon This Tidal Wave Of Young Blood,” most of the crowd in front of the year’s final performance on the World Stage is dancing, and Staff Guy is running and skipping through the crowd waving both arms.
Words by Bojana Sandic
Photography by David Reeve