Happy Hanukkah! After taking last year off (and going virtual) duo to Covid, Yo La Tengo's annual festival eight-night run at Bowery Ballroom returns tonight and runs through December 5. A big part of the fun at these shows the surprise guests. Each night features an unannounced opening band and comedian, a guest collaborator for Yo La Tengo's main set, and then a special guest for the encore. You never know who it's going to be till you show up that night.

There are still tickets available for tonight's kickoff show, but the rest of the week is currently sold out. They do sometimes release more tickets during the week, so it's worth checking back. Proceeds go to different charities each night. Doors are at 7:30 PM and the show starts at 8:30.

We have no idea who will be opening but it's always fun to guess. Hanukkah is early this year and there are lots of big artists in town this week. Irreversible Entanglements and Lunachicks played NYC last night, and other artists who will be in NYC this week include The New Pornographers (including Dan Bejar and Nico Case), The Dream Syndicate, Mary Lattimore, Cave In, Dawn Richard, Hiss Golden Messenger, Cassandra Jenkins, Mekons' Sally Timms & Jon Langford, Aimee Mann, Amyl & The Sniffers, and more. There are also regulars like Sun Ra Arkestra, who have played YLT's Hanukkah many times, and friends like Jon Spencer, Steve Gunn, Jeffrey Lewis, Robyn Hitchcock, Richard Barone, Lee Ranaldo, Oneida, and Ted Leo to name a few.

On the comedian front, Jon Benjamin, Todd Barry, Aparna Nancherla, Roy Wood Jr, David Cross, Fred Armisen, Joe Pera, Jo Firestone, Jon Glaser, and John Hodgman all seem like good possibilities, as do John Oliver, Mike Birbiglia, SNL castmembers (Melissa Villaseñor? Michael Che? Sarah Sherman?), or even big names like Jim Gaffigan or John Mulaney (if they're in town).

Who do you think this year's guest openers will be? Who did we forget about?

Check out our recaps of previous Yo La Tengo Hanukkah shows here.

You can get Yo La Tengo albums on vinyl in the BV shop.

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