To promote their addictive new album Mosquito, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have
hit the road for their first proper tour since 2010. Three years out of the spotlight is an eternity for a band. Fortunately, frontwoman Karen O lost none of her renowned showmanship during the hiatus. She’s still one of the most energizing figures in music.
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs played on the main Firefly stage on Saturday, and despite some technical issues that drowned out much of Karen’s vocals and a set significantly shorter than its scheduled 90 minutes, the band whipped the crowd into a frenzy with a satisfying mix of new songs and older favorites.
Here are the 10 most Yeah-worthy moments of their performance.
The “We Will Rock You”-esque drums-and-clap intro to “Gold Lion.” How perfect to channel Queen, as Freddie Mercury clearly helped inspire Karen O’s stage persona.
Karen’s dancing during “Phenomena.” From the knee knocking to the pelvis thrusting, someone’s been practicing her Elvis moves!
The bizarre assortment of items held up by audience members. I spotted a rubber chicken, a Winnie the Pooh flag, a foam pirate sword, a Woody (from Toy Story) doll, an inflatable parrot, and a giant photo of James Gandolfini’s head. Speaking of which…
The dedication of a song to the late James Gandolfini. R.I.P., Tony Soprano. (See video below.)
Karen’s use of her microphone as a prop. At various points she jabbed it into her chest, stuffed it into her mouth (twice), and shoved it down her pants to then pull it out through her zipper and twirl it. Phallic: sure. Hilarious: you bet!
“Cheated Hearts,” when Karen just could not get her arm out of her jacket sleeve while singing “I’m taka-taka-taka-taka-takin’ it off.” She couldn’t help but laugh at her ineptitude, and we couldn’t either.
The announcement that the band shot a music video for “Despair” on top of the Empire State Building, and that the video will come out on Monday. Our calendars are marked!
“Heads Will Roll” turning the crowd into a massive jumping, bopping swarm. Because when Karen sings to “dance, dance, dance ‘til you’re dead,” well, you DANCE.
The opening guitar notes to “Maps.” It took a fraction of a second for the audience to roar in recognition. That the band extended the intro for a good 90 seconds only built up the anticipation for the group’s most popular song. (See video below.)
Karen’s outfit to start the show. It was as if Lady Gaga blended the wardrobes of James Brown and Captain America to create a rodeo outfit. Wearing a single Madonna-ish black lace glove was also a nice touch, but we wish the glittery Yeah hat survived more than just the opening song. (See photo above!)