Posted on 2013/07/28 18:49
  • Live Report
  • TAGS: /


They are their own brand of music. Having seen them headline festivals in Korea, and now open the last day of Fuji Rock at a 12:30 high noon slot, I think I like them on the big stage, but not as the biggest act.
That does not mean, by any means, that I don’t think they deserve it. Yo La Tengo having played here numerous times and rocking subdued as they do for nearly the past thirty years.
I had to chuckle when Ira thanked Fuji Rock for having them back, “taking a chance on a young band like us.” Ira also noted that the band was honored to be sharing the Green Stage with Wilko Johnson and The Cure, so you know where Yo La Tengo will be backstage this evening.
No frills, from entrance to twelve-minute discordant solos thrashing about, one of today’s most tenured three-pieces is all about business.
Promoting their new album “Fade” with this tour, some new tunes were to be expected. “The Point of It” is a quiet acoustic retreat from the usual reckless abandon during breakdowns, though completely in line with Yo La Tengo’s gentle and meditative side, like a barefoot summer’s romp through a field of wildflowers.
James’ bass guitar looks like it has been through it, chipped paint and tour battle scars, evidence of their unrelenting passion for the performance.
I had a realization watching their set that James and Georgia effectively provide a consistent background, analogous to a white canvas, and Ira becomes the sonic Jackson Pollock, splattering out of tune guitar noise and stumbling all over the place. This technique forges an audio vortex of sorts, wherein the audience can get pleasantly lost as the tortured artist searches for undiscovered feedback in the uncharted territory that his Deluxe Reverb Fender stack provides.
Only after Ira is finished waving his guitar overhead and playing on his blue-jeaned bum does Georgia cymbal crash and crack the sweetest smile. His antics met her approval, and James nods ever so slightly in agreement.
The reserved chaos Ira creates by pretending to smash his guitar on the stage numerous times but never does parallels the Japanese soul for holding back any extreme shows of emotion and always staying in control. The crowd loves it. I do, too.
Just a 50-minute set, but it felt like lifetimes. Rain on Yo La Tengo. Rain on.