Thursday February 1, 2007
Yo La Tengo at Studio A last night, their first show in Miami in 22 years. Endless noisy jams interspersed with quiet numbers, eccentric covers, and extreme musicality are I guess to be expected from Yo La; the big surprise for me was that yes, three people play almost all the parts you hear on the records live. On “Sugarcube” for example, James played keyboard bass with one hand and shakers with the other, with Georgia on drums and Ira on guitar (he was also great on keyboards off and on throughout the night).
The high points early in the set were “Little Eyes,” and a hornless but still funky “Mr. Tough,” during which I’m pleased to report that there was even some (ironic?) dancing. The crowd was great, by the way. Kudos to Studio A for managing the event really well — anyone who showed up before 8 pm got in, probably because they packed in enough people to possibly violate fire codes, but not enough that anyone was uncomfortable. Good balance, well done.
Ira serves up another bottomless bowl of whoop-ass. On more then one occasion he concluded a guitar freakout by setting down a still reverberating guitar with broken and detuned strings, only to pick up his other guitar and seamlessly segue into the next song. (His guitar tech would then frantically restring and tune.) He also worked in a dig at New Times about this, and took advantage of the opportunity to slip an Indianapolis-based cover into the set (it registered as vaguely familiar, but I’ve no idea what it was).
The first encore included a we’re-slightly-over-this-song version of “Autumn Sweater” (James on snare and shakers, Georgia on drumkit, Ira on Farfisa organ (obviously hauled around specifically for this song), once again coming dangerously close to the dense sound of the original recording) and the final encore concluded with their now-famous cover of “I Found a Reason.” My one gripe was the absence of any of the great mellow songs from And Then Nothing, but what can you do. Maybe in another 22 years.comments powered by Disqus