Londonist Live: Yo La Tengo @ The Forum : 11 November 2006

By Talia Last edited 132 months ago
Londonist Live: Yo La Tengo @ The Forum : 11 November 2006

"I'd forgotten how good they were!" exclaimed one of the many odd-looking denizens of The Forum on Saturday night.

New Jersey threesome Yo La Tengo are in the enviable position of being not too hot and not too cold. For over twenty years they have gathered together a solid core of adoring fans, but by never breaking into the commerical mainstream they have left themselves with the freedom to continue the varied and experimental sound that got them an audience in the first place. Name another band that has the confidence to start an album with a ten-minute tribute to feedback, as Pass the Hatchet, I Think I'm Goodkind does on their new record I am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass.

Never was this spirit of latitude more evident than in the setlist for Saturday night's raucous and barnstorming gig, which saw husband-and-wife team Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley swapping both instruments and styles to move from the bluesy terrain explored in new tracks such as Sometimes I Don't Get You, to the quiet, spare ballads of old that had the audience all but reaching for their lighters, to the aforementioned ten-minute romps, in which bassist Stephen Wichnewski seemed to be probing the limits ofjust how much distortion he could drag from his bass. Indulgent? Absolutely, but the fans loved every second of it, especially when the cacophony of sound finally coalesced into the foot-stomping I Should Have Known Better.

The Tengos are famous for their eclectic covers and suprised many in their second of three encores when they played a cover of Rocks by the Rolling Stones. Seriously though, can we can it with the encores already? The house lights aren't coming up; we know they're coming back, what is the function of having the band say goodnight four times, exactly?

Words and photos by Daniel Nicholls.

Last Updated 13 November 2006

simon

... and as one of the punters who waited outside in the freezing cold for what seemed like HOURS to collect a pre-paid ticket, can I just say thanks to The Forum, Yo La Tengo and everyone who'd got their act together enought to catch support band Minatour Shock (instead of nursing one too many pints in The Oxford!!) for holding on for 20 minutes while we all got in. It's not often these big corporate London venues give much of a toss about punters (cf the dire Brixton Academy) but this time, no complaints!

Adrian

Don't know the band, but I agree with you on the encores. Like 1 encore is cool, gives the band a chance to go and change clothes, grab a drink of water and finish up the gig in style. 4? Bit much I think.

Talia

FOUR????

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

D-Notice

Four? Could've sworn there were only three...

Destructor

No, there were three encores, as is mentioned in the review. They just said goodnight four times, once to start with, and then again for each encore. By the fourth goodnight, you're like: "Really? Why should I believe you this time, when you've lied to me so many times before?"

simon

We Are Scientists did ONE encore in London last week - and it was a cover of Boyz II Men's End of the Road. That was quite cool. All the 18-19 year olds singing along.