I’ve seen Yo La Tengo more times than just about any band, and each concert was electrifying in its own meandering way. But the trio’s 2009 performance at Stuart’s Opera House in Nelsonville was easily its most sublime. I think it’s because Stuart’s has magical musical powers.
The setting is ornate and the acoustics are heavenly, but it’s the crowd’s pulsating energy that elevates the performances, especially in the case of Yo La Tengo.
The group’s always engaged, but when the distance between performers and audience is shortened, made more intimate and relaxed, and the crowd — every single one of them — is just as pumped for deep-cuts as you are, your heart glows even brighter at Georgia Hubley’s warm stage banter, your neck hairs prickle even sharper at the group’s softer, more melodic side and the skuzzed-out guitar freakouts echo a little louder in your cranium, ringing ringing ringing, for hours and hours. It is, quite simply, righteous and brilliant and beautiful. I couldn’t be more excited.
Photo credit: Carlie Armstrong