Posted in music | tour dates on March 23, 2011

Yoko Ono @ Chimera Night @ Elysium, SXSW 2011 (Anner Terada)
Yoko

"Sure, sure Kanye was playing somewhere in the city limits (with Jay Z as a special guest! OMG! #bigpimpin), but this was Yoko Ono, the queen of avant garde rock, and an influence on female artists of all stripes for the last four decades.

For all the heated anticipation in the air of the audience and her son Sean's comment that "Yoko has entered the building", she arrived on stage at the relatively small Elysium without any fanfare.

Joined by her new millennium version of the Plastic Ono Band (Sean on guitars and leading the band, master guitarist Nels Cline, and jazz bassist Trevor Dunn among them), she flashed a huge beaming smile at the crowd, flashed some peace signs and set to work ululating and gasping her way through a selection of improvisations and classic material like the stunning "Mind Train", a 1971 epic turned into a lean high speed commuter rail like via the three guitars on stage and the vibrant pulse of Dunn's bass.

Music aside, it was a sight to behold this 78-year-old artist working with the energy of someone a quarter or her age and flirting with all the men and women in the front row. All of us, even an exhausted 35-year-old music writer looking forward to heading home can take inspiration from that." [Oregon Live]

Tune-Yards also made a special guest appearance right before Yoko Ono went on Saturday night at Elysium, and If By Yes and The Ghost of a Sabre Tooth Tiger were among those on the eight-band bill.

Yoko Ono and friends will return to the stage for a benefit show at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC on Tuesday, March 29th, dubbed "To Japan With Love" featuring Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band, Patti Smith, Tony Shanahan, and Cibo Matto. $100 tickets are on sale now. The benefit Yoko is playing for the same cause two days earlier at Columbia University's Miller Theater is sold out.

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Comments (12)

cline is god.

Posted by Anonymous | March 23, 2011 8:19 PM

scapegoat for ruining SXSW? since we can agree that this year was terrible?

Posted by Anonymous | March 23, 2011 8:19 PM

All these big names playing SXSW defeats the purpose of the event itself. Stop taking attention away from the smaller bands that actually benefit from a festival like that.

Posted by Anonymous | March 23, 2011 9:02 PM

Yoko Ono needs to ditch those "mom glasses" she wears and start listening to some real Rock and Roll.

Posted by Anonymous | March 23, 2011 9:26 PM

Yoko = atonal hootenanny in 1970, revered in 2011? P.T. Barnum would be proud.

Posted by Anonymous | March 23, 2011 10:40 PM

wow. for perspective, she's only a year younger than elizabeth taylor.

Posted by Anonymous | March 23, 2011 11:20 PM

you put your fingah in my PIE?!?!?

Posted by Anonymous | March 23, 2011 11:20 PM

Puting a finger in a pie, (although rather rude) is still slightly acceptable... But sticking a finger into a hummus platter is truly sacrilegious.

Posted by Anonymous | March 24, 2011 12:10 AM

Hopefully she'll get signed after this SXSW performance....

Posted by Anonymous | March 24, 2011 12:20 AM

Too bad Ben Weasel wasn't at this gig to punch Yoko and Patti in the face.

Posted by Anonymous | March 24, 2011 8:49 AM

^^^ FTW

Posted by Anonymous | March 24, 2011 9:12 AM

Opening song at SXSW cast the ONO plastic band in the PLant/Page grove with mom scream-chanting ala Plant with mutton chopped Sean in a Top hat and John-ish military/marching band jacket guitar strutting in the subtle sonic strength of Page.. whew! What an opener .. and Mom-Son onstage communication intensely played played like a Sam Taylor-Wood emotional incest close-up cleavage and all. When Nils Cline ramped up the punk dance hall began to vibrate as if it was going to lift off the ground .. i had worried that I passed on both the KW/JZ beats fest and the Syd Straw/Peter Stampfel love-fest but watching i knew I made the right choice not to miss Robin Danar, Bob Gruen were beaming as I leverage myself stage left to actually see the band play. funny that two of the bast performances I saw at SXSW were by women in their late '70's .. folk-labor legend Hazel Dickens and the equally resilient Yoko.

Posted by jim fouratt | March 27, 2011 7:27 PM

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