Yo La Tengo - Burlington, VT - 10/7

Discussion in 'Movies, TV and Music' started by bmurphyfl, Oct 10, 2003.

  1. bmurphyfl

    bmurphyfl Member

    Jun 10, 2000
    Montreal Impact
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Well, after a long wait, YLT finally played in VT last night. I had seen them a boatload of times when I was living in Hoboken but hadn't seen them since moving to VT 3 years ago. And quite frankly, I had really missed their shows.

    A few friends joined me for the show. One guy had a few YLT albums but had never seen them live while the other three guys had never heard of them before I asked them if they wanted to go to the show. So, none of them had much of an idea about what to expect.

    We wanted to get there in time to see the Aislers Set and have a few beers but we got a late start. Then got pulled over on the way there. 77 in a 55...$199 fine. But it could have been much worse when one of my friends yelled from the backseat that we were going to a concert when the cop asked where we were going. Except for my friend who was driving, we each had a beer trapped between our feet. So, when the cop heard we were going to a concert I thought he was going to search the car but thankfully, he just handed over the speeding ticket and left.

    We got there in time to grab a quick beer before Ira, Georgia and James came strolling out onto stage. The first tune was their standard mellow opener. I think it was one of the instrumental tunes off of the The Sounds of the Sounds of Science. But regardless, it provided a great contrast as they then launched into a loud version of "Decora".

    Then came a pair of new tunes - "Little Eyes" and "Season of the Shark". These are two of my favorite tunes on Summer Sun but they fell flat live. Mountenot must have really teased these two up in the studio because they sounded thin live. But I'm confident that YLT will play around with the tunes and improve them for future live shows.

    I don't remember the exact order of the entire show but over the next few tunes, they did a cover of what sounded like Mission of Burma or Wire. Regardless, it rocked. And that led into "Let's Save Tony Orlando's House" and "Sugarcube". At this point, the indie kids started dancing like muppets and we had a damn fine show on our hands.

    While the initial Summer Sun songs were disappointing, the rest sounded great. Georgia clearly won the battle of "Georgia vs YLT" as she drove the synthesized sounds all over James drums and Ira's piano. "Moonrock Mambo" was also a fine opportunity for improvisation but this time it was Ira and the organ going all over the place.

    "Tiny Birds" though was the highlight of the new album for me. Georgia gently played tom-toms and cymbals with mallets while James sang and shook the egg to Ira's guitar playing. It was a slight rearrangement of the tune but it sounded great; much better than the first two quiet new tunes.

    The other tunes (that I remember) stuffed into the nearly two hour main set were "Damaged", "Sudden Organ", "Winter A-Go-Go" and "Nobody But You and Me".

    Towards the end of the main set, they started "I Heard You Looking" which is one of their traditional closers. And, us usual, they took about 15 minutes to build it up into a glorious wall of noise with Ira's guitar thrashing above the addictive drone of James and Georgia's rythmn section. It's physically impossible to not let your head bounce side-to-side or rock your whole body while listening to this. It's beautiful. And sure enough, I looked over at my friends, who were unfamiliar with YLT two hours earlier, to find them swing their heads to the pounding flow of beauty. They were hooked.

    I fully expected YLT to leave the stage after that but they stayed. They stilled had another tune in them. Members of the Aislers Set joined them on stage for Sun Ra's "Nuclear War". I had never heard them do it before and had forgotten about the single from a year ago. So, it was like finding one more present tucked behind the tree on Christmas morning. It was great. Georgia and James both played drums while Ira and Dan from the Aislers Set played keyboards. Ira went into his trance-like playing mode and almost dumped the keyboard over into the crowd. That was how the set ended.

    For the first encore, they covered "Good Lovin'" which sounded like it had been a mainstay of their shows for years but hasn't. They also played "Lewis" and Ira changed up the lyrics to slag the Eagles (as he had been doing all night) rather than America. "Stockholm Syndrome" was next but they stopped halfway through because Ira didn't like his guitar tuning. He said, "I'm sure you're all enjoying the alternative version of this but I don't." So, after a little retuning, they started again from the top.

    For the second encore, they covered Devo's "Gates of Steel" and finished with two achingly beautiful acoustic versions of "Autumn Sweater" and "My Little Corner of the World". "My Little Corner of the World" is my my wife and mine's wedding song so it was a great way for the show to end for me.

    After the show, while still riding the adrenelin high of the last few hours, I asked my friends what they thought of the show. Every single one of them loved it. One guy said he never thought he was going to enjoy himself that much and has since started borrowing my YLT CDs. Four new converts to the YLT legions.

  2. sebakoole

    sebakoole New Member

    Jul 11, 2002
    Great review, Murph. I saw them last night at the 9:30 in DC. Like you, I thought some of the Summer Sun material sounded a little thin live. However, I was intrigued by the way they changed the melody a little for "Season of the Shark". Another interesting change from the album version of a song, was "Today is the Day". They did it as an upbeat rocker!

    I'm trying to remember all the non-Summer Sun songs they did...
    Nowhere Near
    Tom Courtenay
    Stockholm Syndrome
    Cherry Chapstick
    Blue Line Swinger

    ...maybe a few others, can't remember now. They did "Nuclear War" and for that they had some of the guys from the Sun Ra Arkestra join them onstage (they were one of the opening acts along with the Aislers Set). You just gotta love those sequined suits and space hats.

    Unfortunately, I missed the encore as I had promised to give some friends a ride home.
  3. sonicdream

    sonicdream Member

    Sep 27, 2002
    West of Suez canal
    AFC Ajax
    He he...yeah they looked like they just came out from a Burger King with some promotional hat giveaways.

    Saw them in Philly over the weekend and the place was packed. I too had to leave early - before the encore - cause my date had some stoopid excuse of some sort.

Share This Page