Yam Haus gets weird on a Wednesday

Minneapolis indie-pop troupe opened for Blue October at the Fillmore on Wednesday, Sept. 15.


Ethan Fine

Seth Blum, lead guitarist of the band Yam Haus, looks out into the crowd during the band’s performance at The Fillmore, Wednesday, Sept. 15. Yam Haus, a Minneapolis-based band, opened the show for Blue October on their three-month U.S. tour, which began earlier this month.

Sophia Zimmerman

From the moment the band took the stage, clad in matching black and white checkered suits, it was obvious the crowd at the Fillmore wasn’t jam-packed with long-time Yam Haus fans. As the crowd filed in slowly but steadily, most people remained rather mellow as they chattered. Rather, they were all there for headlining act Blue October. But that initial lack of enthusiasm didn’t prevent lead vocalist Lars Pruitt from diving headfirst into a warm hometown welcome and an attempt to amp up the quiet crowd.

“Minnesota, you’re so beautiful. Will you jump with us?” Pruitt yelled into the microphone before “Jump” repeatedly blared through the speakers, a chant that more so instructed than invited attendees to get into the swing of things. And get into it, they did. Their collective presence on stage was infectious, so much so that even those who looked least likely to groove to their upbeat anthems were swaying ever so slightly.

Hips moving, knees bending, head shaking, foot tapping, all while singing and strumming — Pruitt can perform like no one’s business. The rest of the band maintained the same energy throughout the set, with guitarist Seth Blum tossing around his long hair, drummer Jake Felstow throwing his whole body into every beat and bassist Zach Beinlich bopping along to each note.

“I think they were good at loosening up the crowd,” said attendee Ellie Matthews. “I loved the lead singer’s dance moves, and the drummer was really into it, too.”

Yam Haus is quite the local sensation. Founded in Minneapolis in 2017, the members met while attending high school in Hudson, Wisconsin. Their 2018 debut album, “Stargazer,” amassed over three million streams. Since entering the music scene, they’ve performed with a wide variety of talented musicians including Kacey Musgraves, Tori Kelly, Adam Lambert, Bishop Briggs, Andy Grammar, AWOLNATION and more. Yam Haus falls under the alternative-pop umbrella, always performing with high energy that enhances their head-nodding hits. On their own, they managed to sell out First Avenue in Minneapolis in 2019.

After the (literal) jump start of the evening, the band cruised through their well-known hits including “The Thrill” and “West Coast.” Pruit called for the audience to bust out their dance moves to their hit “Mama,” sharing an anecdote about how his “mom doesn’t give a sh*t what anyone else thinks about her.” The crowd’s hype grew steadily throughout the set, building up bit by bit. Alt-rock Blue October drew an audience of all ages, which presented no challenge for Yam Haus. Audience members ranging from a 10-year-old at her first concert to a pair of best friends in their fifties were bumping and swaying to the beat, particularly when Pruitt labeled himself as instructor of “Yam Haus zumba class.”

The audience was treated to an enthusiastic rendition of Yam Haus’s new single, “Give Me The Keys,” which was released on streaming platforms just as the show concluded.

For those who began the night with little to no idea of who or what Yam Haus was, I can’t imagine they were left with anything but a positive impression of the highly energetic, uber-positive group.

“They were really good, but this is my first concert ever,” high school junior Shreya Jain said. “As soon as I heard their first song, I got their merchandise.”

Yam Haus is on tour with Blue October for the next three months. Following the tour, you can catch them at the Palace Theater in Saint Paul on December 17.