- 23 Apr 01
YO LA TENGO (Olympia, Dublin) If not as cohesive as they might be at times, Yo La Tengo tend to fray the edges without unravelling, or, if coming apart very occasionally, then it's a case of deliberately pulling threads.
YO LA TENGO
If not as cohesive as they might be at times, Yo La Tengo tend to fray the edges without unravelling, or, if coming apart very occasionally, then it's a case of deliberately pulling threads. Tonight's set was nowhere near as delightfully poppy as their last Vicar St. show, with the Hoboken trio in extremely noodly form, habitually restructuring songs and indulging in live experimentation. Looser, heavier, dirtier guitars being soundly thrashed over the trademark two-chord organ drone was the hallmark of this evening, but, with an awareness that some of the band's most brilliant songs have evolved out of this kind of freeform instrumental jamming, it's certainly interesting to witness the process in action. The dynamic interplay between the three band members is the most important thing about Yo La Tengo onstage, and they enjoy rotating their roles and keeping each other on their toes. Happily, drummer Georgia, possessed of one of the most beautiful voices in existence, took lead vocals for a number of songs, her whispery tones at once soft and floaty, yet intensely tragic.
Although this band could never be accused of being serious, the style of the show was somewhat less 'comic cabaret' than usual, despite the appearance of a guest keyboardist wearing silver lame and feathers, and a rendition of the band's own twisted version of The Simpson's theme tune. They expanded their diverse repertoire of covers with a cute Jackie DuShannon number, while the usual calls for the classic 'Autumn Sweater' were heeded with a slightly sloppy delivery, but Ira's flippant, 'let the fingers fall where they may' style of keyboard playing is certainly entertaining.
In the end, a frenetic show careered to a magnificent close with the quiet pulsating epic 'Speeding Motorcycle' bringing the rumbling Yo La Tengo machine to gentle halt. Magical.