Smith’s Olde Bar, Atlanta, GA • March 17, 2001
No, you probably haven’t heard of Pete Yorn, but that situation is likely soon to change. The 26-year-old appeared initially on the soundtrack to Me, Myself and Irene, and is about to release his debut album, Music For the Morning After. His sound is a mixture of driving rock and sixties pop with a vocal style that recalls moments of Grant Lee Phillips, guitars that sound like T. Rex, with a little bit of Neil Young harmonica. Sound confusing? Nope, sounds great.
Yorn made his first Atlanta appearance at Smith’s, and the full house seemed to take to the largely unknown artist well. Opening with a cover of The Smiths’ “Panic,” Yorn and his four-piece band quickly settled into a groove that featured the bulk of his new record. From the relentless heartbreak of “Closet” to the set-closing “Murray” (a song prompted after reading the saga Heroes And Villains, the story of The Beach Boys and their overbearing father, Murray Wilson), Yorn seemed to be a far more seasoned performer than his years would allow, and delivered his stuff with a brooding eye assurance that won over the crowd. He claims most of his material relates to the end of relationships — here’s hoping that the affair between Pete Yorn and his listeners is a long one.