Who is Yacht ?
Yacht, a musician you will love like a rainbow after the rain, or a lollipop after visiting the dentist.
Any one remember the Blow? Well, the Blow’s last 2 albums was 90% Yacht and Yacht is made up of one man….the multi – talented Jona Bochtolt.
Happy, positive rainbow music on speed, Yacht might currently be best known as that guy who used to be in the Blow or for touring with Architecture in Helsinki and LCD Soundsystem . But, that is about to change. With the release of his debut album ‘ I Believe in You. Your Magic is Real.’, earlier this year, Yacht has gone on a whirlwind world tour through the USA, New Zealand, Australia, Europe and, most recently, China.
Speaking in tongues, people being possessed, their bodies to twitch and move in spastic spurts and idol worshipping… a Yacht show is less concert and more of a religious experience. In Shanghai we had the chance to catch up with Yacht and after spending a few days with the guy, we were inducted into the Yacht cult by the preacher himself. Jona is the epitome of positive thinking was nearly bouncing off the walls at the thought of touring China. It was a tour that almost didn’t happen.
Jona hadn’t planned on coming to China, but was randomly introduced to me in late August by a wonderful woman by the name of Megan who found both of us through Myspace and web blogs. After a couple of back and forth emailing, it was decided… Yacht would be playing in China. Unfortunately, with such an insane European tour schedule already booked, the only available dates happened to fall on the first week of October. Why unfortunate? Well… China has three, week-long public vacations a year. During these vacations schools are out, people go on vacation and it is typically a horrible time for bars to put on shows. After praying to the gods (cult of Yacht only has one) we miraculously were able to get a slot at the inaugural Yue Festival, in Shanghai, which also included Ozomatli, Faithless and Talib Kweli .
Working around the festival we also arranged a show in Beijing and a 2nd show in Shanghai at Logo, a nice little dive bar. The stars seemed to be aligning, but still something seemed to be missing. It wasn’t until 1 week before the first scheduled show in Beijing that Jona realized he was going to have serious trouble getting a Chinese visa in Europe on such a tight schedule. Our only option was to fly him to Hong Kong on the 2nd of October, miss the first show, pray we could get a visa and head up to Shanghai late on the 4th. After enough frantic online searching to give even the most chill of hippies a heart attack, we finally found a plane ticket flying from Düsseldorf to Hong Kong (via Dubai). Securing a visa in Hong Kong, Jona made it up to Shanghai late on the 4th.
The Yue Festival had a decent turn out of around 1000, made up mainly of expats, and it was our first time to see Yacht perform live. Sugary gumdrops… after that wild and fun performance we were hooked. You would never expect Jona, that shy, polite, vegan from Portland to have so many moves. The next day at a smoke filled dive bar with a shitty sound system and over stuffed with fans Yacht jumped off walls, climbed on the bar infecting the audience with spastic dance moves. After the performance, as the crowd spilled out onto the street the cops showed up to see what all the fuss was about. Unfortunately they were too late to witness Yacht perform. If he happens to be playing in your city, don’t make the same mistake.
Abe Deyo is Shanghaiist’s Music Editor. Email tips, recommendations, news and gossip about Shanghai’s music scene to music at shanghaiist.com.