Concert Review: Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Boulevard Pool at Cosmopolitan, August 19

Photo by Denise Truscello

Photo by Denise Truscello

At the end of any live performance–whatever your taste in music–what you’ve just witnessed comes down to one thing: showmanship. This is what separates truly memorable gigs from all the rest. So what happens when you take spectacle and put elbow grease behind it? Ask Karen O, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ hot mess of a vocalist. She figured that much out from Day One: Put on one hell of a show – like they did at the Boulevard Pool – get under the audience’s skin, and fans will remember you for sure. The Yeahs – who broke out of NYC’s rock-revival pack well over a decade ago – have employed this strategy to good effect over the years. Take O’s wild, flamboyant can’t-look-away-from-her performance and back it with Brian Chase’s primal, muscular drumming, and guitarist Nick Zinner’s angular, high-end slashing and you’ll feel it head to toe. So when O launches into “Mosquito,” the title track from the band’s latest album early in their set, she might as well be singing about her infectious trio when she howls, “They’ll suck your blood…suck your blood.” ★★★★☆

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