The support of the evening is a band called the Horrors, which according to murmurings was exactly that. A horror!
Next support act is 2 Hoxton looking lads that made an unbelievable amount of noise. I tried to imagine it as electro-garage-clash, but eventually resorted to imagining the whole experience just wasn’t happening. Loads of energy though. After sticking out the support bands, a relieved audience welcomes the headliners with thundering applause.
Karen O, from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs graces the stage, adorned in a white Elvis-esque sequined suit. “Gold Lion” topped the NME chart earlier in March, so it is no wonder they use it for their opening. Singing “Gold lion’s gonna tell me where the light is” Karen O moves slowly, poised like a cat. She dedicated an entire album to the life of her cat after all.
With her clown make-up, she looks like a punk-rock ballet dancer. Every muscle, movement, and note in perfect place for the cameras.
In “Cheated Hearts” she starts hinting provocatively when she strips off her cape and a few items to “She’s taking taking taking taking it off… He’s taking taking taking taking it off…” She stops at her hot pants and vest, and leaves the crowd going mental. It’s sweet chaos after that, as she jumps around the stage constantly stirring up the audience.
When she sings it comes from her gut. In certain moments (like in “Phenomena“) you can see her holding her stomach as she bends over to hit those difficult notes. Karen O truly has a versatile voice. Not only is each track on this album different from each other, but it doubles as a very different style from previous albums like “Fever to Tell“.
If, like me you were wondering how she does her death metal voice in “Art Star” you would have been amazed to watch her swallow the head of the entire mic-with her hands behind her back! The jumping, and dancing stopped while everyone looked on in awe!
The anthem of the evening is clearly “Maps“. A favourite, as everyone mimes the lyrics, and listens to Karen coo. You might recognise the riff in this song, as it was stolen by Kelly-friggin-Clarkson. Nick even went so far as to dedicated part of his previous interview to complaining about it!
Each member of the band is vastly talented. Nick takes photos like he plays guitar. The lightning fast guitarist has released a book, humorously called -“another book”. Karen lets none of the attention deflect off the rest of the band, as she drapes her arms around them after almost every song.
The energy of their music could come down to uniquely strong ingredients, that compliment each other, simmered at a steady heat. No bull, its just about the music with this band as each track is played back to back with 150% endurance.
The last track is fittingly “Warrior” ending on:
When it’s missing then you want it more
It isn’t right
Turning, turning out the door
And back to this
Leave it like it was before
And let me out
Must’ve been the end of the story
The escape lament of a wanted woman!
Polydor released 12 addictive tracks on the new YYYs album – “Show Your Bones” on March 27. In Karens’ own words “Show Your Bones is what happens when you put your finger in a light socket”
[Photo by Niki Kova’cs]