Yeah Yeah Yeahs, ATP I'll Be Your Mirror, Alexandra Palace, London
Monday 06 May 2013
Growing up with grace is difficult for any band, but when, like Yeah Yeah Yeahs, you make your early name with a bratty, sexy, art-punk squall, with feral, strutting anthems of youth, what do you do when you’re all edging into your 30s and you’ve already done the ‘going electronic’ shtick?
New album Mosquito goes some, if not all of the way to answering that question, and it seems particularly relevant tonight. The ATP festival series itself is moving on, having announced its final weekenders at the end of the year (YYYs played their 10-year bash in 2009) and most of the crowd are around the more mature end of the spectrum.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs have curated the whole day, with sets from Black Lips, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and dozens more, but the electric sense as the last non-YYYs band finishes is that there’s only one thing people are really here for.
They open with their taut and moody gospel-punk comeback single "Sacrilege," and from the instant Karen O steps out, dressed as some sort of high-ranking disco civil servant in spangly suit and silver hat, no one is looking anywhere else but at this most magnetic performer’s every move. If ‘Mosquito’ the album is mainly about exploring Yeah Yeah Yeahs always-potent subtler, subdued side, they’re not going to be so self-indulgent as to recreate that mood live; they follow up fast with the title track, the punkiest stomp on the record, then knock the room clean into hysteria with "Bang," the standout track from their raucous debut EP.
Their hit-base further established with "Cheated Hearts," they do venture out into spookier territory from across all their albums, such as the ghostly, beautiful "Subway" and the devastatingly sweet "Soft Shock". It’s here, you feel, that their forward momentum lies rather than in the past triumphs of "Zero" or "Miles Away", commanding as they are. "Gold Lion," combining moody slow-burn with searing explosion and release is a particular standout tonight, as is "Maps," “the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ LOVE SONG!” which never fails to floor the hardest in the room. You wouldn’t want them, though, to close with any other song than "Date With The Night," clattering and careering to its climax with Karen barking, bouncing, flailing, swallowing the mic. They may be making maturity work for them, but in the hours of darkness, deep down. Yeah Yeah Yeahs will always be those punk brats at heart. Emily Mackay
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awardsTheatre
Grace DentChannel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
Better Call Saul creator Peter Gould on the creative concerns of a prequel, season 2 and the mind-numbing realities of the small courts
Game of Thrones season 5: Emilia Clarke praises characters who 'accept their femininity'
Britain's Got Talent 2015: RSPCA investigating Marc Metral's miming dog after cruelty complaints
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Glastonbury 2015 tickets: How to make sure you’re successful in Sunday's re-sale
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate