Yeah Yeah Yeahs at the Orpheum
Last night I caught the Yeah Yeah Yeahs at the Orpheum. I had bought two tickets to this show one for me and a buddy however my buddy couldn’t make it and I was left with a ticket. Luckily he let me know well in advanced so I was able to sell the extra on the last day to a guy off the CFOX ticket exchange.
So I headed down to the Orpheum after catching that fantastic finish to the Habs / Hurricanes game (go Habs), and arrived a little after 8:30. From the YYYs website it said that Blood on the Wall would be on at 8:30 sharp and they would take the stage at 9:30 because of the sharp 11pm curfew at the Orpheum.
Well Blood on the Wall didn’t take the stage till around 9pm so I started to get worried this show could possibly run short. I didn’t mind Blood on the Wall, the lead male vocalist reminded me a lot of the lead singer for the Frog Eyes. I found though that their sound really couldn’t fill the Orpheum, the vocals were pretty loud but the guitar, bass and drums were all silently being played in the background. I think they would have been better suited to a smaller venue like Richards.
Next began the time watching game. I knew the longer it took the Yeah Yeah Yeahs to hit the stage the less time they would have on there. They eventually got on close to 10pm. 30 minutes after their projected start time. They opened the show with Cheated Heart, with just Nick and Brian on stage, building up. Then Karen came out on stage. She was wearing quite the little outfit. Made her look like a pixie, sorta like tinker bell in the old old Peter Pan movie. Anyway the build up was pretty good, and as the song got to near the end you could really hear the power of Karen’s voice as she screamed it out “Sometimes I think I am bigger than the sound”.
The rest of the song featured mostly songs from Show Your Bones, however they did throw in a song or two from Fever to Tell. At around 10:55pm they left the stage. They were off stage for a long encore (literally 5 minutes), I haven’t seen such a long encore in a while. The fans were going pretty ballistic though, and were pretty loud. They finally took the stage and finished the show with Warrior and Rich.
While the show was really excellent I found it to be also very short. I don’t know what the deal was, whether they just got cut off by the Orpheum or they just didn’t feel like playing. I read online however that they might have been a bit angry at the venue, someone was saying they saw Nick giving a bunch of security guards the middle finger, but who knows.
So what can I say, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs bring a lot of energy to their shows, it was just too bad they didn’t play longer. A few song highlights, Phenomena was killer. Maps was great and before the song Karen O said it was a love song, and she went on to dedicate it to all the band, and the fans. Gold Lion was pretty rad, had the first half of the song with Karen singing with a scarf over her head, it also had the first showing of the acoustic guitar by Imaad. Miles Away was intense, Karen panting endlessly throughout the song (this is part of the song) and Nick tearing it up on guitar. Black Tongue was also big energy, great way to get the crowd into things at the start “with this you will regret, just let it be your yeah yeah yeah” rock on. Finally during Warrior the crowd got all silent, and during the first interlude where the acoustic guitar plays a few notes they lingered before Karen O started singing again. The crowd ALMOST achieved a perfect silence, you know the kind where not a single person is making a noise creating an awe effect that creates an amazing vibe, however it didn’t last and right before Karen O began singing and the band playing a bunch of people break out of their trance and start screaming, too bad too it was a pretty special moment. Show ended with Rich, which is one of my favorites. As the band stopped playing all you heard was a bit of feedback from the instruments and the underlying track of the song and the band all runs off stage.
So yes to summarize this behemoth of a review up, I would say that when the Yeah Yeah Yeahs were playing they were pretty fantastic, very energetic, and pulling off the songs. However the short set was a real downer, especially after spending a good $40 on this ticket. The other thing that pissed me off was the seated venue. I had a hard time getting into things with rows of chairs everywhere, and security guards running up and down the isle. I think this show would have been way better suited at the Commodore, they could have played longer, and it could have been a nice general venue. Whatever I will just have to stray away from Orpheum shows unless they are of the nature of more mellow content.