Yeah Yeah Yeahs @ Club 101, El Paso, TX, 06/10/09

Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Yeah Yeah Yeahs

It was only a matter of time before Yeah Yeah Yeahs would finally perform in El Paso. Their penultimate stop before heading to the Bonnaroo festival in Tennessee, the New York trio did everything they could do to squeeze us in. And rightfully so, the band’s latest triumph, It’s Blitz!, was primarily recorded at the Sonic Ranch, just outside of El Paso in Tornillo.

Getting straight to business, Karen O, guitarist Nick Zinner and drummer Brian Chase arrived on stage to deliver a frenzied version of “Heads Will Roll.” Wearing a fitted mask with a patterned light design, O danced and shrieked her way around stage. And as her two bandmates played behind her, with a massive eye to backdrop everything, it made for one memorable opening.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Yeah Yeah Yeahs

The energy never stopped with the band ripping into versions of songs, old and new, in such a fervent behavior. With their newfound popularity, one would assume that this is a fresh, new band. And while still plenty fresh, they’ve been making music since the decade’s inception. Thus, they made sure to play enough music off their best album, Fever to Tell, to please all fans. “Date with the Night”‘s grungy guitar was a resounding presence, then there was the pulsing rhythm of “No No No,” and “Black Tongue”‘s yelping vocals-each, entirely magnetic, bristled with a tenacious sheer.

Catering to a wide array of fans, the band continued to mention just how much of their album was devoted to the Sun City. Hearing O yell out the title of the album, yes, that exclamation point is intended, was joy enough. However, it was obvious the band felt they owed something to the raucous fans and city. Before they left the stage for the first time, O and the band dedicated “Yeah Yeah Yeahs love song” to everyone that helped them record their new album. In a noble, thankful approach, they performed “Maps” in a personal, acoustic manner; needless to say, it was one of the richest and amazing performances I have ever witnessed.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Maybe it’s the fact that the band was close to breaking up when they made it, or that it’s assumedly recognized as O’s solo album but the band only played “Gold Lion” off of Show Your Bones and for many, this was a great thing. They made room for most of the music off It’s Blitz!, including “Dull Life,” “Soft Shock” and “Skeletons.” And they even cut everything loose with “Kiss Kiss,” off their terrific, Is Is EP.

The encore was even more gratifying because after that rendition of “Maps,” they sealed the deal with the frenetic pulsation of “Y Control.” Changed into different clothes, O still looked undeniably magical and the band didn’t lose anything on their way to closing out one fantastic show. A good set list can go a long way but an awesome set list will cause the whole night to fly by, leaving you begging for more. And as “Zero”‘s catchy riffs ended the night, one couldn’t help but recall that feeling, in wondrous amazement.

 

Club 101

Interscope