Yeah Yeah Yeahs Come Home

September 30th, 2009

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Music Hall of Williamsburg – September 29, 2009

(Photo: Autumn de Wilde)

(Photo: Autumn de Wilde)

During the encore of their (very) sold-out show at Music Hall of Williamsburg last night, Yeah Yeah Yeahs had just performed an intimate, acoustic version of their love song “Maps,” with frontwoman Karen O leading the crowd in a sentimental sing-along of the chorus. She then announced that the band would be taking requests. And suddenly, Karen O was an auctioneer: “Who wants to hear ‘Y Control?’” she asked. “Or what about old ones, like ‘Art Star?’” By this point in the show, the band had zipped through a vigorous set list of hits including “Gold Lion,” “Zero,” “Cheated Hearts” and “Heads Will Roll.” The floor was covered in confetti, Karen O had undergone numerous wardrobe changes—Day-Glo fringe, a hooded bodysuit, a studded jacket and brightly printed kimono-bedsheet hybrids—all under the watchful gaze of a giant inflatable eye at the center of the stage.

Signs posted around the club informed us that the show was being filmed, and the knowledge that this night would be immortalized imparted it all with a slightly momentous feel, which was cemented as Karen O explained that after a year of extensive touring behind their album It’s Blitz!, the Music Hall show was the band’s very last club date on their North American tour. It was a celebration of a fruitful and busy year, in the very borough that had supported and nurtured the band back when they first formed. Pretty momentous stuff indeed. As for the song auction’s outcome, YYYs ruled in favor of the “old one,” and seemed to have fun revisiting the cheeky number from their first EP, in which Karen O indulges in some serious screaming. And before the night was over, they played “Y Control” too. Everyone goes home a winner. —Alena Kastin