There wasn&apos" /> Live review of Yo La Tengo @ Albert Hall on Wednesday, 30 May 2012 :: The Dwarf

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Yo La Tengo

with The Little Cubas




"I know you're worried. I'm worried too. But if you're ready, I'm here to fall with you.''

  

There wasn't a worried face in the room when Yo La Tengo took to the stage. There wasn't much breathing going on either. Few rushed to refill their bevs. Ears were pinned with the kind of expectation only music lovers circled on four sides by water could understand.

  

YLT frontman Ira Kaplan crept on stage quiet as a house mouse offering a spacy, hypnotic and insanely subtle introduction for 'Here to Fall'. When he was done people were too possessed to clap. Or was that just me?

  

Tassie was treated to the New Jersey band's third leg of their Australian tour at Moorilla Estate. The godfathers of their genre, (if not having a genre actually quantifies as a genre) Kaplan was joined by members, James McNew and wife Georgia Hubley drums. At times funky, other times bluesey, always experimental and mixed to perfection.

  

Soon the venue's cushions are discarded from the dance floor (somehow kept grounded despite The Little Cubas rollicking show beforehand). It's clear Kaplan is only just pushing the trio into second gear as he bobs and bends with each new instrument brought on stage.

  

The chap behind me compares McNew's stage presence to an IT guy. Granted, he is the king of shoegazing, but music nerd is probably more apt. Leading each rambling jam, McNew's bass probes and pushes the band through a selection of songs from their twelve album repertoire.

  

Halfway through the set Kaplan leaves planet Tengo for a natter with his captivated crowd.

  

"Thanks everyone, we're from Hoboken New Jersey, which is kind of like.... to New York what Tasmania is to the rest of Australia,'' he joked. ''We get ya.''

  

From here in the gig gets a lil' bit boppy, a lil' bit reggae, a lil' bit sexy. Keeping a rather divine rythym up until this point, Hubley leaves her sticks, mallets and brushes for the microphone. The sound is so warm I could cuddle it.

  

The crowd loves her to bits. As if competing for attention, Kaplan skips behind the synth and it's time to dance about for a procession of tracks from their latest release, Popular Songs.

  

The nearly two hour show finishes with a four song encore from the trio. Famous for conquering quirky covers in their live show, Kaplan slithers his guitar into the opening chords of the Monkees song 'I Wanna To Be Free' (in honour of Micky Dolenz' birthday of course). Yes, they were just that good.

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