Gig Reviews

Yo La Tengo – 3Olympia – Live Review – 10/04/23

Yo La Tengo – 3Olympia – Live Review – 10/04/23
by Killian Laher

Yo La Tengo kicked off their European tour with a two-set show in the 3Olympia.  Acting as both support act and headliner, it was clear from the first couple of notes of Sinatra Drive Breakdown what kind of night it was going to be.  If anything it was a gnarlier version than the album version, with guitarist Ira Kaplan doing the first of many, many guitar-distressing workouts.  They did a complete about-turn for a heartfelt version of old favourite Our Way to Fall before James McNew got a turn on the mic for Black Flowers.  Moody keyboards dominated Ashes, which featured Kaplan strolling over to the drumkit to ostentatiously bash a single cymbal.  At the same time, Georgia Hubley was busy on keyboards and vocals for this and Aselestine.  There was a return to noise for Damage and Apology Letter before the first set concluded with the imperious Miles Away, off of their most recent album.  Hubley struggled a little to be heard over the wall of noise generated by McNew and Kaplan.

After a short interval, the band returned with a chaotic, freeform This Stupid World, Kaplan channelling the Velvet Underground as he flagrantly abused his guitar, and this was followed by a heavy version of Before We Run.  It wasn’t a night for the faint-hearted with a trashy I Should Have Known Better, followed by a demented False Alarm, all keyboard stabs and Kaplan spitting out seemingly random lyrics.  Although there were a few walkouts before the end, most of the rabid fanbase cheered for every song from the first couple of drumbeats.  They reached back more than 30 years for a beefed-up version of Drug Test, and arguably the most conventional noise rockers Sugarcube and Tom Courtenay kept the fans happy.

A ragged, elongated version of Pass The Hatchet, I Think I’m Goodkind finished off the second set, featuring yet more Kaplan guitar histrionics, and was at times a bit of an endurance test, yet McNew’s bassline and Hubley’s drumming remained intact for a good fifteen minutes or so.  A brief encore got everyone smiling with The Nightcrawlers’ Little Black Egg, a rocking version of the Undertones’ Teenage Kicks before finishing with Hubley’s sweet cover of Darlene McCrea’s My Heart’s Not In It.  A happy audience left with ears ringing, with many stopping off on the way out to hit the merch stand.

Categories: Gig Reviews, Gigs, Header, Music

Tagged as:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.