Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Yeah Yeah Yeahs at Music Hall of Williamsburg 9/29/2009

I have a girl crush on Karen O. Every girl should. She is the driving force in one of the few bands that have enjoyed global success while managing to maintain a shadow of their indie cred. She has a presence on stage that no frontperson (male or female) can eclipse. And she does it all while wearing pretty much whatever she wants, despite what everyone else (on Earth at least) seems to think is the latest style. Basically, she has that ever elusive je-ne-sais-quoi that makes men want her while respecting her, women jealous of her while wanting to be her best friend, and everyone fall head over heels for her. Brian Chase and Nick Zimmer are great (a band is only as good as the sum of its parts and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are pretty fucking amazing) but they’re not why you go see the band live.

So I’m going to give credit for the rapidly sold out YYY show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on Tuesday to Karen O fan boys and a few fan girls, several of whom were wearing KO-style studded fingerless gloves (this fan girl only got her ticket because I’m an avid Twitter follower of NYC venues…that’s smart Twittering). The dude-heavy audience was treated to a mix of current hits off their newest album It’s Blitz! as well as rarities from their earliest EPs. They opened with "Shake It" and followed with “Phenomena,” quite possibly their truest to form rock song but managed to keep rock spirits high as the guitar sounds slowly gave way to synthesizers later on in the set. Not one song intro went by without it quickly being identified as a crowd favorite and the hits were punctuated by Karen O’s continually fearless costume changes which included neon fringe, studded leather jackets, and a day-glo ski mask. When it came time for the encore, they did the obligatory and always heartbreaking acoustic version of “Maps” before KO stated that they were taking requests. Despite shouting “Y Control!” at the top of my lungs with the rest of my new best friends, I was blown away by “Our Time.”

And then they played “Y Control.” Best fakeout ever? Everyone wins.

All photos courtesy of BrooklynVegan.

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