LIVE REVIEW: Mas Ysa @ Rickshaw Stop, SF 2/21/14
In one of the quietest Friday nights in the history of San Francisco (seriously, where was everyone? Tahoe? Where was our invite? Not that we would have gone anyway), we had tickets to see Thomas Arsenault, AKA Mas Ysa, and he played a damn fine set to a group of about 40 people.
Neither artist nor audience minded the extra space at Rickshaw Stop. We gathered close to the stage, and it couldn’t have been more intimate. Arsenault is surely used to larger crowds, having opened for both Deerhunter and The Rza, while being backed by Purity Ring. He will very soon play to much larger audiences, once his EP Worth makes the tastemaker rounds (“Why” was featured on the recent “Beach House” episode of Girls).
The best comparison for sound and musical reference points is M83, but with soul. Mix that with youthful exuberance, and lyrics that are thoughtful and honest, along the lines of early Arcade Fire.