Rachael Yamagata @ Cafe Du Nord

The other night Farrah and I went to Cafe Du Nord to see Rachael Yamagata perform. We enjoyed her first album, Happenstance, which is a somber but strong debut album. We downloaded and listened to pre-released tracks from her new album, Elephants…Teeth Sinking Into Heart . Some of her songs on the album go into a more uptempo direction.

Cafe Du Nord, in size, reminds me of the old Cactus Club in San Jose. Except Cafe Du Nord is much darker and has the vibe of Bimbo’s 365 Club. We had dinner reservations which gave us reserved seating. We could see the stage without obstruction, able to enjoy the show while sipping a nice cold beer.

Rachael started off with Be Be Your Love and Letter Read, the first two songs on her debut album and two of my favorite songs. Letter Read was actually the first song I heard from her, a song where she sounds like Fiona Apple. Anyway, after hearing those songs I knew the show could only get better and it did. Rachael moved from the keyboards to an acoustic guitar which she didn’t plug in at first. She then explained she was battling the flu with some Jack Daniel’s. She was a trooper through, continuing with her set and engaging the lively audience.

She played for about 90 minutes total, going through songs like

  • Worn Me Down
  • What If I Leave
  • Would You Please
  • Elephants
  • Meet Me By The Water
  • Faster
  • Accident
  • Would You Please
  • The Reason Why

Part of her encore was Would You Please, a request from the audience. Rachael wasn’t sure she knew all the words but gave it a go, prefacing that she could not be criticized if she f’d up. She got through about 90% of the song. I really enjoyed her last song, The Reason Why.

I’d go back to Cafe Du Nord to see another show. The drink and food prices aren’t bad, but parking can be an issue. Well, it’s San Francisco, so parking is always an issue.

You can also find another review of this concert here.

AJ Giron @verbal