1 September 2023
NYC’s flamboyant pop-rock trio YEAH YEAH YEAHS fronted by the utterly arresting
Karen O (born Karen Lee Orzolek) released their splendid, critically praised 4th LP,
the first in 9 years, named Cool It Down, one year ago.
And as usual, artists take the road to promote new stuff. For YYYs the bigger part
of their tour was planned for this summer with several festivals and some indoors.
Last Monday they stopped in Amsterdam (The Netherlands) to perform in one of my
all-time favorite venues, the historic, very beautiful, and cosy (wherever you are, you
have the feel of an intimate club) Paradiso, which was originally a nineteenth-century church.
As expected, when the band came on, Karen O last of course, it was like the 1500 spectators saw a Goddess flanked by her knights coming down from heaven. A louder-than-war reception, and It wouldn’t get any more quiet from there on. K O, as usual, dressed in a spectacular multicolored outfit, is like a resistless magnet, vocally and visually. Everybody (sure, me too) was focused on her, while band members Nick Zinner (guitar), Brian Chase (drums) and their touring keyboardist also looked more at her than
at the crowd (they’re actually timid guys). It’s called charisma, as we know it.
The set (see list below) was a balanced mix of tracks from their 4 albums with striking stunner Zero and tearjerker Maps as standout moments. The sound was picobello, the ambiance was euphoric, only big smiles everywhere. But for me, in the end, it wasn’t a perfect concert. Why? They didn’t play two of my absolute YYY favs, also two of their best-known ones, which they did play at most of their previous shows.
Two solid gold singles/classics (to my ears): their smashing debut single Date With the Night (from 2003) and Despair (from 2013). Did it matter? Yes! It’s like having a fantastic dinner, and you know that you’re most-liked dessert will make the night complete. But the dessert doesn’t show up and nobody knows why it doesn’t. Bummer.
– DESPAIR –
– DATE WITH THE NIGHT –
1. Spitting Off the Edge of the World
2. Cheated Hearts
3. Black Tongue
4. Shame and Fortune
8. Soft Shock
11. Gold Lion
13. Heads Will Roll
14. Poor Song
15. Y Control
PS: I still love you, Karen O
(All photos by Turn Up the Volume)