Or, as I like to call it: She came. She sang. She F***in’ conquered. But more on that later.
Location: Marquee Theatre, Tempe, AZ.
First, the opening acts.
First was Grand Ole Party and to be honest, they could have played through the other opening band’s set and I would have been grateful. But I am seriously shamed I didn’t know about this band earlier. They sang songs from their new album that hasn’t been released yet though, and I like them a lot better than their Humanimals tracks, so perhaps it’s better I stumbled upon them this way. They have “made it,” in some sense of the word, and have kind of settled into a better groove tune-wise. I would definitely have a hard time pegging them as one specific genre, but let me just throw some imaginative phrases out there so you can imagine:
– First song sounded very “Love Her Madly” – esque. Front woman (and drummer) Kristin Gundred is like Stevie Nicks, a strong and vocal Meg White, with a splash of punchy Janis Joplin. That seems like a bit of an odd mix, but I saw glimpses of it all.
– The biggest thing with this band that comes to mind is: “taking the bass line for a walk.” And they did; through a tobacco bramble to the “Sea of Love” ripped apart by an electric knife. I loved it; it made the hairs on my arms stand on end and shimmy.
– I can’t remember the names of any of the songs, but I can’t wait to buy the new album and hear her whisper “you have the kiss of death upon you” again. She has a truly fantastic voice.
– Yes, the songs all do sound very similar, but I’m willing to give them a couple more listens.
It was about this time I noticed Nick Zinner watching in the wings with a fantastic pastel coral-colored shirt, like an guardian angel with Robert Smith hair. He definitely approved of GOP. But, for some reason, he really liked the next band, All Leather.
There was a lot of problems with this band, so I will tell you about the good things. I counted two: the hilarious duo of drummer and electric drum kit. They were hilarious and awesome and snarly and spitty. Well, the drummer more than the actual machine. And the bass player was actually decent enough.
Instead of ragging on how awful it was (ladies and gentleman I know punk, and that was not punk), I will just leave it at this: singer Justin Pearson resembled Johnny Knoxville under the lights and I couldn’t help but wonder if it was just some big joke to see if gullible concert-goers would lap it up.
Okay, one more thing: G.G. Allin is rolling over in his grave right now.
photo on their myspace by robin laanenen
Okay, on to the main event!
They came. Busting out their awesome eyeball, confetti and everything you need to pull of a terrific show.
and yeah, she wore the leather jacket.
I can’t really describe why it was so good, because it’s like trying to describe why a rainbow’s good. Yes, that was a Joe Dirt quote. This was the second time I’ve seen YYYs in concert and I must say, they are equally as good and raw, if not more of a tightly-knit unit. They barely stopped in between songs, and everyone was completely fine with that. Last song before the encore was “Y Control,” which I always think is a great ending to any show, Yeah Yeah Yeahs or not. It’s up there with “Long, Slow Goodbye.” They played a great mix of old and new (although they missed ‘Runaway’, which I adore), and their encore was stellar. It included ‘Cheated Hearts’ and ‘Pin,’ Rock Band favorite ‘Date With the Night’ and the fan-favorite ‘Maps,’ which Karen O dedicated to summer love and YYYs love. The best part of the encore was seeing Brian Chase smile. I always wonder what is going through his mind while he’s rockin’ out ever so sophisticated-ly.
All in all, a magical night was had by all who gave in to the music. Except the slimy girl mosh-dancing through the crowd and trying to brace her fall by grabbing my throat. She needs to pay more attention to the music, and not the bar. Which reminds me: people in small quarters, be nice. And wear awesome tights.