A pink swirl enters stage left, the vamp synths of 'Heads Will Roll' start up and Yeah Yeah Yeah's burst out of the blocks at 100mph, "dance til' you're dead" seems less like advice and more like a command. Wearing a fluorescent neon luchadore mask Karen O has the Manchester audience in the palm of her hand all night, every flick of the hair and every time the microphone is raised is met with rapturous applause. 'Heads Will Roll' segways neatly into 'Black Tongue' and the crowd again go wild.
This 3 date UK jaunt is essentially a preview for the band's new album It's Blitz! however with the album having leaked over a month ago the audience are already well versed with the new material. 'Dull Life', 'Runaway' and 'Skeleton' get an outing tonight with the latter sounding particularly intimate, no mean feat in such a large venue. The fears that guitarist Nick Zinner has ditched his guitar proven nonsense as he riffs and thrashes at the six strings all night long. Bizarrely much of tonight's set is focused on the 'Is Is' EP with three of the EP's five tracks aired- whilst 'Down Boy' is a trashy gem to rival any of their material it does seem odd to play 75% of a release most of the audience are not overly familiar with.
Still, with songs like 'Gold Lion' and 'Y Control' any nagging ennui is soon wrestled away with ease. Writing songs that sound both subversive and anthemic seems to come with ease to Yeah Yeah Yeah's. In an age where icons are few and far between Karen O stands alone- the image, the charisma and the charm it's all infectious. The only slight complaints about tonight's show would be the shortness of the set (just over an hour including a 15 minute break) and the use of a backing track on some songs. Minor quibbles though in a fantastic first foray into new material.
As the trio (aided by Dave Pajo on multiple instruments) come back on stage the anticipation is palpable. The cavernous drums of 'Maps' kick in and the song is dedicated to all the bands other half's. The room swells with the vision of endless young couples swaying to 'their song'. The set then ends as it begins, a glam-stomp with 'Date With The Night' kicking and flailing for all it's worth. The crowd wait anxiously for more, even booing when greeted with the house lights however any greed will be forgotten with the memories of a stellar performance such as this.
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