San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Yam Haus ignites Voodoo Room with a sensational performance

The Minnesota band stops by Voodoo Room at House of Blues in San Diego during their cross-country tour
Katie Flores
Lead Singer Lawrence Pruitt of Yam Haus performing in the Voodoo Room at House of Blues on Nov. 2, 2023.

Yam Haus, the exuberant musical collective renowned for its vibrant sound, recently set ablaze the House of Blues in San Diego with a dynamic performance on Nov. 2. 

As part of their ambitious cross-country tour, the Minnesota-based band has been leaving a remarkable impact on audiences nationwide.

The band’s genesis dates back to the friendship forged by bassist Zach Beinlich and frontman Lars Pruitt during their high school years. Their musical journey took an unexpected turn when they united with Jake Felstow, completing the trio and forming the group in August 2017. 

The name “Yam Haus” finds its origin in the shared living space where the band initially came to be.

“Yam stands for ‘You Are Me,’ a reminder to treat others as they would like to be treated,” Pruitt said. 

This philosophy permeates their music as the band advocates for love and respect in all their creative endeavors.

Released on Oct. 6, their latest album titled “Stupid and Famous” showcased a pivotal transition to an indie rock-oriented style from their previous pop soundscape. Lyrically, Pruitt finds himself sharing his personal struggles and opening up. 

“We’ve learned to put as little labels and constraints on what we’re doing in order to stay inspired,” Pruitt said.

In discussing their musical evolution, Yam Haus shared insights into the influences that shaped their shift. Pruitt pointed to a diverse range of musical inspirations that have guided their creative journey, naming bands like The Killer, Green Day and Blink-182.

The band revealed unique pre-performance rituals that contribute to their stage readiness. Lars explained a ritual known as “Minsky,” which involves band members inhaling a combination of hot water and peppermint oil in order to clear their nasal passages in preparation for the show. 

Additionally, the band engages in a pre-show chant, which is essential for building collective energy and focus.

The band’s live performance at Voodoo Room was a testament to their infectious charisma and intimate connection with the audience. They seamlessly blended musical talent with engaging, personable interactions, creating an unforgettable experience. 

The stage glowed with an array of colorful lights, creating a pulsating backdrop for the band’s performance. From the very first chords of the opening song ‘So Long,’ an electrifying atmosphere set the thrilling tone for the entire evening.

Felstow passionately poured his heart into each beat, his energy visibly seen as sweat flew off his face when playing the rhythm of the music. Beinlich remained cool and collected, while Pruitt’s enthusiasm effortlessly swept through the room, captivating every single attendee.

Pruitt commanded the stage, maintaining a continuous connection with fans through smiles and conversations between sets. The trio swayed and nodded to the contagious beat of the music.

Amidst their set, a heartfelt acoustic rendition of “Simplicity” was dedicated to a fan unable to attend due to a COVID-related circumstance, showcasing their empathy and connection with their followers.

While reflecting on their journey, the band members shared the challenges of being away from family during extended tours. They acknowledged the pivotal support and sacrifices made by their loved ones, essential in facilitating their musical careers.

“All of our families are very supportive and invested and we genuinely wouldn’t have been able to do it without them” Pruitt said.

Speaking about their aspirations, Pruitt emphasized the importance of staying inspired, present and fostering love and connections. Beinlich also expressed the desire for growth, aiming to engage with a larger audience.

Yam Haus’s overarching long-term goal extends beyond musical evolution; it encompasses a commitment to unity, love and continuous improvement, setting the stage for a journey beyond mere musical performance.

Yam Haus’ sensational performance complemented the atmosphere of Voodoo Room at House of Blues. San Diego State students attending events at the House of Blues can anticipate more than just a concert. The venue’s layout encourages an immersive experience, where attendees become active participants rather than mere spectators. 

Yam Haus’s performance serves as a glimpse into the electrifying energy and engaging atmosphere that often envelops the venue. 

Attending an event at the House of Blues promises a night filled with raw, authentic musicality, fostering a lasting impact on all who walk through its doors.