Karen O-Gasm at the Colonial Theatre
Remember when I saw 2/3rds of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs play a show last week not 35 minutes from my house?
I remember- and it was awesome! Karen O and Nick Zinner performed an acoustic set under the moniker the “Yeah Yeahs” and were able to tug my heartstrings yet rock my world at the same time. Despite the lack of electric guitar, a raucous crowd and an even more raucous singer, this was one of the most captivating shows I’ve seen in a long time.
Kind of ironic considering frontwoman O is known for her wild stage presence (seen here) and basically acts like a f*cking wild woman when she performs. Yet onstage at the Colonial she admitted to being “really nervous” and acted kind of timid and unsure of herself. Clearly, rolling around and making pelvic thrusts onstage is more her comfort zone than singing to a quiet theatre with only string instruments to hide you. Oh yea, and her dad was in the audience.
One of the things that stood out the most about the show were how emotional the songs felt. It wasn’t just the lyrics (which feature a lot of repetition and are pretty non-specific), but the way in which O was singing them and the musicians were playing them.
The best song of the night happened almost halfway into the show when they played “Turn Into.” I love that song already, but during the bridge the cellos onstage kept building and building, and you could just feel the everybody in the room about to burst, and finally this dude lets out a WOOOO! and it was like he gave the audience permission to take a breath and everybody did this quick “WOO!” back, and then Karen (we’re on a first name basis at this point) let out a giggle and allowed herself to loosen up a little more onstage. WOO!
The overall vibe of the show is best exemplified during the performance of Maps (video below). O begins the song with some dedications, starts giggling when she thinks the dedications have been going for a long time (obvi doesn’t realize we’re hanging on her every word), and even flubs a lyric at the start of the song. The audience calls out the words and then O extends a dedication to us, and we laugh and she laughs, cause who the hell knows how to act at an acoustic show anyway?
This song is “Day Go By” from Karen O’s side project, Native Korean Rock. I can’t get enough of it!