Yo La Tengo’s latest album “Stuff Like That There” may have come out in 2015, but the New Jersey-based trio is still taking fans on a wildly entertaining ride. They recently brought their eclectic mix of indie, punk, and experimental rock to Pittsburgh’s Mr Smalls Theatre – and the energy in the room was electric.
As the band took the stage, they launched into the opening track from their latest album, “My Heart’s Not In It.” Right from the start, the crowd was on their feet, swaying to the rhythm of the song while the members of Yo La Tengo sang in perfect harmony.
Throughout the night, the band managed to maintain a perfect balance of their classic sound and the new material from “Stuff Like That There.” The crowd was thrilled to hear classic songs like “Autumn Sweater” and “Sugarcube,” but also eagerly devoured new favorites like “Deeper Into Movies.”
Despite the bleak atmosphere of the Mr Smalls Theatre, Yo La Tengo managed to elevate the mood with their infectious energy and masterful musicianship. Laying down an eclectic mix of sounds, the band kept the crowd on their toes throughout their set – never letting up or dropping a note.
Part of the magic of Yo La Tengo’s live shows lies in their tightness as a unit. Whether it’s the way drummer Georgia Hubley drives the songs forward with her steady beat, or bassist James McNew’s deep dive into the groove of each tune, the band’s interplay is a true joy to watch.
As a journalist who loves to cover live music events, I have to say that Yo La Tengo is one of those bands that truly stands out. They bring an undeniable sense of authenticity and honesty to their performances and never resort to gimmicks or smoke and mirrors. These are passionate musicians who truly care about their craft and it shows in every note they play.
Another highlight of the show was their cover of The Cure’s “Friday I’m in Love.” It’s always a tricky proposition for a band to take on a beloved classic like this, but Yo La Tengo manages to make it their own with their unique blend of indie charm and punk rock energy.
Overall, Yo La Tengo’s performance at Mr Smalls was a sublime mix of old and new. It’s always a pleasure to see a band not only successfully blend new and classic material, but do so in a way that feels authentic and honest. The crowd left the venue feeling elated, energized, and thoroughly entertained – which is exactly what a good live show is supposed to do.