johnmcgaLive Music Review: Yeah Yeah Yeahs @ Brixton Academy
Yeah Yeah Yeahs never really burst onto the UK scene like some bands. Theirs was a steadier climb up the wobbly ladder of fame, and maybe that lack of a defining moment accounts for the explosiveness of their second night at Brixton Academy.
Entering behind an opaque curtain, the New York group play for a minute or two before the veil drops, the spotlights shine bright and the crowd goes utterly mental for the one lady they've come here to see: exuberant, excitable front woman Karen O.Against a backdrop of five giant, sinister eyeballs, she spins, twists and ducks mesmerisingly around the stage, swapping between robes, outlandish headgear and even a PVC catsuit during the 80-minute set.The other band members seem content to let her enjoy the attention, belting out lots from It's Blitz, their recent dancey, electronic album as well as plenty from their previous, rockier record, Show Your Bones. The sound is tight and the rasping guitar easily drowns out any chatterers at the back.Even the microphone plays a starring role. Sometimes it's held aloft like a religious icon, sometimes it's stuffed into Karen O's mouth like she's trying to consume the very source of her powers - and at one point the front row gets to play karaoke, providing a totally out-of-tune contrast to the band's spot on vocals.The glam factor stays high: three giant, glittering 'Y's drop from the ceiling during Gold Lion, and later streams of red sparkly stuff get fired into the crowd. Confetti cannons shower the audience during Zero and a sixth giant eyeball bounces around before ending up back on the stage where Karen O embraces it like a sister.A rousing encore sees Yeah Yeah Yeahs dedicate a song to, well, everyone, providing a suitable end to an evening which never felt the slightest bit choreographed or contrived, despite all the theatrics.