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coverpic flag US - New Jersey - Full Moon 124 - 11/05/06

Yo La Tengo
John Dee, Oslo, Norway, 02.11.06

This gig made me realize I still love Yo La Tengo, even though they sometimes can stretch your patience, with massive amounts of noisy, monotonous parts, far off the regular melodic track. That said Yo La Tengo still equals genius plus love.

From the opener "Decora" there was a touch of cosmic magic in the room. YLT have been around for 20 years and they sure know their tricks, treating the audience in a way to please everybody. With a catalogue of 12 albums (including the film score The Sounds of the Sounds of Science) they've got a lot of songs to choose from when doing their shows. In fact they did play a variety of songs spanning most of their career. But, of course, they presented a lot from their latest album, I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass.

The threesome work really well, shifting from the most tender, fragile songs, for in the next moment to dive into sonic escapades. Ira twisting and bending his guitar, making it scream and almost start dripping blood and sweat. He's creating pure white noise. Then it all quiets down, caressing your ringing ears with sweet little melodies.

The 2 hour show presented a long list of classic YLT songs: "Big Day Coming", "Deeper Into Movies", James' "Stockholm Syndrome" (a true hit, and one of the sweethearts of the audience - every time), the beautiful "Our Way To Love", and the even more beautiful "Alyda" (off 1989's President Yo La Tengo), "Let's Save Tony Orlando's House", and many others. Including the usual handful of covers. Of the new material "Pass the Hatchet, I Think I'm Goodkind" came early in the show. "Beanbag Chair" was there, as well as the hilarious "Mr. Tough" - the tongue-in-cheeck, high pitch voice dance floor piece. The farfisa-driven "I Should Have Known Better" - which is a bit of a semi-psychedelic song by the Stranglers. They also raced through the wild style r'n'r piece "Watch out for Me Ronnie", but one the absolutely highlights was a blistering version of "The Story of Yo La Tengo". A total knock-over towards the end of a feel-good evening (well, not for my ears...).

Love you Yo La Tengo. We'll meet again.

Copyright © 2006 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Yo La Tengo articles/reviews: And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out, Fade, I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass, I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One, Popular Songs, Prisoners of Love: A Smattering of Scintillating Senescent Songs 1985-2003, Stuff Like That There, Stupid Things EP, Summer Sun, The Sounds of the Sounds of Science, You Can Have It All b/w Ready-Mades.

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