Tag Archives: Nick Zinner

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Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Kings Theatre – November 7, 2017

November 8th, 2017


Photos courtesy of Pip Cowley | pipcowleyshoots.com

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Two Chances Next Week to See Songhoy Blues, a Band Not to Miss

June 12th, 2015

With armed jihadists in the northern region of Mali, Oumar Touré, Allou Touré and Garba Touré sought refuge in the southern town of Bamako. Eventually they met Nat Dembele and decided to channel their interest in classic rock, hip-hop and R&B into their feelings about the displacement of their culture and their people, the Songhoy. So they took the name Songhoy Blues and began playing what Billboard calls guitar-driven music that “connects the trance-inducing traditions of their African music ancestry with flavors employed by the Black Keys, reggae and funk artists and, back in the day, Led Zeppelin.” Produced by Amadou & Mariam manager Marc-Antoiune Moreau and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’s Nick Zinner, their acclaimed debut album, Music in Exile (stream it below), came out this past winter. And NME calls Songhoy Blues (above, doing “Soubour”) a “righteous four-piece that even militants couldn’t silence” and the LP “a masterpiece of desert blues; blending American guitar licks with Malian groove.” They’re currently winding down a U.S. tour, but before they head to Europe, you can catch Songhoy Blues on Monday at Rough Trade NYC and on Tuesday at Mercury Lounge.

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Two Big Local Bands Take the Stage at Barclays Center

September 19th, 2013

Earlier this year, art-punk trio Yeah Yeah Yeahs—frontwoman Karen O, drummer Brian Chase and guitarist Nick Zinner—released their fourth full-length, Mosquito (stream it below). The album includes production work from LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy and TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek among others, and in praising it, the A.V. Club says the album “takes a much more open-ended, and less studied, approach to Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ electric eccentricity.” Of course, Yeah Yeah Yeahs (above, performing “Sacrilege” on Late Show with David Letterman) are most known for the fiery live performances, and you can see these hometown musical heroes tonight at Barclays Center. But do yourself a favor and get there early enough to see Har Mar Superstar.

Another big local band, Vampire Weekend—college buddies Ezra Koenig (vocals and guitar), Chris Baio (bass and vocals), Rostam Batmanglij (keys and vocals) and Chris Tomson (drums)—also put out an acclaimed new album this year, Modern Vampires of the City (stream it below). The band’s much-praised third LP is a bit of a departure, abandoning the post-college themes of their previous work, but gaining plaudits in the process, with Rolling Stone winningly comparing the quartet’s new tunes to Paul Simon and Tom Petty. But, like Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Vampire Weekend (above, doing “Diane Young” on Saturday Night Live) are best experienced live. And alongside Solange and Sky Ferreira, they play Barclays Center tomorrow night.

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Yeah Yeah Yeahs Give Fans a Reason to Believe

April 8th, 2013

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Webster Hall – April 7, 2013

Belief in the idea that one’s art shouldn’t just tap you on the shoulder but elbow you in the ribs is what’s propelled the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ music for more than a decade. It’s puzzling at first to consider that this fantastic trio has been around that long, especially since their discography is so concise. The upcoming Mosquito, will be the band’s fourth album, but it warrants respect and admiration that each offering has seemed so well timed, as if there were this uncanny sense of when their music was needed most. The music has always been delivered with heedless conviction. When a Yeah Yeah Yeahs record has come out with live shows to follow, the bellowing message resonates for a while afterward.

New York City’s patience in waiting for their hometown favorites’ latest declaration was rewarded last night at Webster Hall. It’s fitting that Karen O’s famous stage attire could have been read as a sexy interpretation of a prize fighter’s outfit, with an oversize glittering robe, satin shorts and even a couple of knee pads. Like a trained fighter, Yeah Yeah Yeahs measure their moments to strike and let go with abandon when they find their opening. The set was a barrage, fluidly covering their entire discography with each song leaving its mark. Classics like “Gold Lion” and “Black Tongue” were belted out with a fresh new purpose while attention-grabbers like “Zero,” “Heads Will Roll” and their newest, “Sacrilege,” exhilarated to the point of spreading pulsing waves across the floor from the crowd’s collective hopping.

In their trademark approach, the band hurled themselves into the performance. Karen O demonstrated why she has become a rock icon, delivering shivering vocal punctuation amidst all the physical exhibition she is known for. Her flair and gusto were matched by Brian Chase’s controlled fury on the drums and Nick Zinner’s precise and penetrating structure on guitar. Chase in particular, smiling gleefully, arms swinging and pounding away, captured a palpable mood of celebration shared between the band and their passionate local following. There was no doubting the mutual love in the room, and you got the sense that no one there would’ve wanted to be anywhere else in the world. “Love is in the air tonight!” proclaimed O, and that energy remained through the show’s end when the beloved “Maps” was finally played in the encore, the entire crowd singing along.  

Yeah Yeah Yeahs have always shown that they appreciate and embrace their regard as one of the all time great NYC bands. This recognition comes across in the enthusiasm with which they make and play their music and the ambition they maintain to keeping it substantial. The attitude has always been to put it out there, strut it hard and let the chips fall where they may, and this has continued to result in a glowing response, as it did again last night. Yeah Yeah Yeahs simply believe in their music, which makes everyone who’s listening believe in it, too. —Charles Steinberg

Photos courtesy of Gregg Greenwood | gregggreenwood.com