A blog on gigs, music, art and London.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Meltdown Festival, Yo La Tengo, Royal Festival Hall, 12/06/11

I was back at the Royal Festival Hall on Sunday to see Yo La Tengo play a show as part of Ray Davies' Meltdown Festival.

It was billed as a Reinventing The Wheel show, the first of two sets being determined by the spinning of a wheel containing options such as Yo La Tengo Songs Beginning With S, Yo La Tengo Songs Beginning With A Vowel, Yo La Tengo Songs Featuring Names, their Sounds Of Science Soundtrack, a set of Dump songs (James' side project) and seeing the band act out a 30 minute episode of American soap (Seinfeld). In the end the guy from the audience who was invited on stage to spin the wheel chose a Condo Fucks set. For me, it sat somewhere in the middle of preferred options. I was rooting for songs beginning with S - Song For Mahila, Sometimes I Don't Get You, Season Of The Shark (which they played anyway), Shadows, Sugarcube, Saturday, I could go on...

For the second set they played a fairly wide selection of tracks, drawing on all recent albums. They chose to open with a sublime, twenty minute version of Night Falls On Hoboken. It brought back memories of seeing them play this venue in 2000 to support the release of one of my favourite albums And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out. Other highlights included The Weakest Part, Season Of The Shark and Cherry Chapstick. The set was as follows:

Night Falls On Hoboken
Big Day Coming
Avalon Or Someone Very Similar
The Weakest Part
Season Of The Shark
Black Flowers
Cherry Chapstick
Nothing To Hide
Tom Courtenay
Pass The Hatchet I Think I'm Goodkind

Autumn Sweater
My Little Corner Of The World

God's Children (original by The Kinks)
I Feel Like Going Home

Another excellent show, proving you never get the same set twice. A brief glance at some of their recent setlists shows how they still play a huge selection of their songs. It is heartening to know they still play a lot of material from And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out. Their ability to switch from tender, quiet songs to epic, loud guitar workouts always results in excellent, memorable shows.

I took some photographs that you can see here.

No comments: