Photos by Lucy Florence. For more shows, check out our photo section
Yo La Tengo headlined MOG's CMJ showcase at the Brooklyn Bowl last night, performing with opening acts DOM and Screaming Females. Yo La Tengo's twenty five year history as a band has produced an eclectic variety of style. They began their set like they did their latest album, Popular Songs, with a departure from their usual sound by centering themselves around the drone of the Ira Kaplan's keyboard, nary a guitar in sight. Their maniacal concentration extended into the rest of the set, which proved that Yo La Tengo is still a force to be reckoned with, with hops through their indie-pop, Velvet Underground style days to funk and a few surprisingly beautiful folk songs. At one point drummer Georgia Hubley stepped up to the microphone, contributing her smooth crystalline voice to the for-once hushed instrumental line played by Kaplan and James McNew on bass. The viral intensity of their set extended to the crowd, most of whose eyes remained glued to the stage, even in the back, where bartenders and bowlers were hushed in the presence of Yo La Tengo's musicality.
The same was not the case for DOM, new faces on the music scene, and a world away from Yo La Tengo's vibe, whose 90s jams evoked a bit more insouciance from the audience, many of whom were plainly there for the closers. DOM's nineties sound extends to their style, and with their flannel shirts, ripped jeans, and curtains of hair, it is no wonder that they cite Nirvana and Third Eye Blind as influences. Clearly loving the success of their Sun Bronzed Greek Gods EP, DOM put in a great performance, and with songs like "Bochica", written about the band's cat, and "Jesus", about lead singer Dom's girl, their nonchalant comedy contributed a bit of hilarity and triviality to their pop-rock sound.
The Brooklyn Bowl was perfect as a venue, stuffed with old school Yo La Tengo supporters and some of the scarf wearing cool kids of the DOM crowd. As evidenced by the audience's post-show daze, the hardcore guitar in all sets of the night left them with awesome riffs reverberating off their skulls, already seasoned for the CMJ music filled week ahead. -lucy florence