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Yeah Yeah Yeahs & Fight Like Apes
The last time I saw Fight Like Apes, their performance was a little ramshackle, to say the least. The four-piece looked like they needed a few weeks off, and quite frankly, we were concerned that one of our favourite bands might be burned out.
Edwin McFee, 14 Sep 2009
So it’s with a little trepidation that Hot Press makes its way down early for MayKay and Co. Two minutes into opener ‘Something Global’, it seems like we needn’t have concerned ourselves, as FLApes are back in business. Over the last year, MayKay has turned into a phenomenal front-woman, looking perfectly at home on the big stage. Highlights include a sloppy (in a good way) cover of McLusky’s ‘Lightsabre Cock-Sucking Blues,’ ‘Tie Me Up With Jackets’ as well as a reassuringly excellent untitled new song. It seems a little bit of time off has done wonders.
After waiting for what seems like an eternity (it was probably about 20 minutes, o pedantic ones, but hell, we’re excited) New York’s Yeah Yeah Yeahs make their Belfast debut, breaking out the skeletal ‘Dull Life’ from their new record It’s Blitz. The song sounds even more apocalyptic in a live setting, and if Jeff Wayne ever makes War Of The Worlds Part II, we think this should be the opening track. “Belfast, it’s been a long time, but we finally made it,” howls Karen O, who is wearing some of the most outlandish clobber witnessed since the glory days of Axl Rose.
The band themselves have certainly matured since we caught their first Irish show back in ‘03. In those days, they had just released their first self-titled EP, and Miss O was pouring cans of beer over herself (and the crowd) in Vicar St. before it got a make-over. Six years on, it’s all glitter canons, costume changes and big singalong anthems, and it’s heartening to see a band get bigger and better with age.
However, what’s most striking about the set is just how many great tunes they’ve got now. ‘Heads Will Roll,’ ‘Zero,’ ‘Pin’, ‘Rockers To Swallow’ and more are all world beaters — and although Karen’s illuminated glove (a la Michael Jackson) took away a little from the sentiment of ‘Cheated Hearts,’ it still rocked in a goofy kinda way.
Sadly, we don’t get any material from those first two EPs, but we do get a typically teary rendition of ‘Maps’ unplugged and a pogo-tastic ‘Date With The Night’, so it’s not all bad. As even more glitter canons signal their farewell, it’s pretty obvious we’ve witnessed something special tonight. Gig of the year so far, by a country mile.