Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, played to a nearly-full BAM Opera House last night, one of the marquis events of this year's Sounds Like Brooklyn festival. The venue was a bit stiff for this sort of thing, at least until the band invited everyone up to the emptied-out orchestra pit and arena-style stage lights lit the place up like the 4th of July.
Lead singer Alec Ounsworth was a bit precious, wearing striped pants, a green crocheted cap, and quavering, affected vocals. But he's written some irresistible hooks that flatter his artistic forebears as they command attention. "Is This Love" featured Philip Glass-like organ trills that repeat; "Upon This Tidal Wave of Youngblood" sounded like British new wave; "The Skin of My Yellow Country" has bent guitars like Built to Spill and vocals like David Byrne. In other words: a damned good show.