Better Yeti cranked up the volume and blared clamorous music for a Thursday night campus groove fest.
“We are going to have a party tonight, so I hope you’re ready,” John Hoel, saxophone player for Better Yeti, said.
Unlike the conventional four-piece band, Better Yeti brings a party to the stage within the members themselves. Six musicians performed in the Dreyfus University Center at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
“Better Yeti used to be known as The Mustache,” Ben Majeska, concerts coordinator for Centertainment Productions said. “They were a band that was formed in Stevens Point from all of them being in college. They’re a straight-up funk band.”
The members played an interesting variety of instruments. Trumpet, saxophone and keyboard mixed with the standard guitar, bass and drums.
The result was what the band calls funk, an uproarious onslaught of loud beats with a sprinkle of jazziness. While the horn and brass instruments seem like an unconventional addition to the band, their use is characteristic to funk music.
“What sets this band apart is that they’re a strictly funk band,” Majeska said. “Funk is the really groovy stuff that you heard with disco balls back in the day. They’re hitting on all the traditional elements of funk.”
Flashing lights and high energy music soon infected the crowd, leading to dancing on the floor and relaxed head-bobbing from the seats.
McHailey Johnson, junior urban sociology major, attended the Better Yeti concert and classified their music as “fast funk” due to their fast-paced performance.
“I thought it was super groovy,” Johnson said. “I like their sound and their use of traditional jazz instruments but in a modern groovy, funky way.”
While all the band’s instruments meld into one continuous noise, occasionally one would emerge in a solo, highlighting the unique voice of that instrument and musician.
During the first half hour of their set, lyrics were scarce. This all changed when Hoel set aside his sax to lead a song with rap-like vocals. However, this too eventually gave way to a keyboard solo by Steve Radtke.
Mid-show even contained a band-led, audience participation game of “freeze.” Band members would yell out “freeze” into their microphones, at which point the crowd was expected to hold still in the sudden flash of white light from the lighting technicians.
“I just want to say ‘groovy’ a lot, because that’s how I feel about it,” Johnson said. “I think they’re extremely groovy.”
The band’s goal of a party-like feel was augmented by the attendance of a yeti suit clad individual among the crowd.
Centertainment Productions has much more to come this semester. The next band, Frogleg, will be performing with Cayote on Friday, Apr. 7 at 8 p.m. in the Encore.