During their Hanukkah residencies, Yo La Tengo cover Jewish songwriters of note in addition to performing songs from their deep catalog. They'd already covered a few Lou Reed / Velvet Underground songs on Night 1, but he's a favorite, so it was not surprising that they would dip into that well again. But you might not have expected Hedwig creator John Cameron Mitchell to come out to sing with them midway through the band's Night 4 set. where they were already augmented by CUP, the duo of Nels Cline and Yuka Honda. JCM sang Velvet Underground song "I Found a Reason" and then Lou solo song "Waves of Fear." Video of both of those covers is below.

Usually guests come out for covers during the encores at the Hanukkah shows, but John said he had a flight to Utah to catch so he could "kiss some Mormon boys." JCM also joined joined YLT in 2018 and you may remember that Yo La Tengo collaborated with Yoko Ono on a song for 2003 Hewig tribute album, Wig in a Box.

CUP opened Hanukkah Night 4, and they joined Yo La Tengo for their entire set. Between Nels and Ira Kaplan it was a real battle of the guitar titans, making for the noisiest Hanukkah show so far this year. Yo La Tengo's main set included "Tom Courtenay," "Out of the Pool," "One PM Again," "Above the Sound," their cover of "Little Honda," and lots more. The encore featured covers of The Byrds' "Wasn't Born to Follow" (written by Carole King & Gerry Goffin), The New York Dolls' "Cool Metro" (a tribute to the late Sylvain Sylvain), and John Cale's "Hanky Panky Nohow."

Check out the full setlist, via Jesse Jarnow, below, and pictures from the whole night by Ellen Qbertplaya are in this post.

Night 4's comedian was Jo Firestone, who also appeared in 2019, the mix CD was by Blockhead, and proceeds from the show went to the NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund.

Check out recaps of Night 1,  Night 2, and Night 3, as well.

Yo La Tengo will be back at Bowery Ballroom tonight for Hanukkah Night 5 with more surprise guests. Tonight and the rest of the residency are currently sold out.

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

Out of the Pool
Little Eyes
One PM Again (without YH)
Can’t Forget (without YH)
Lewis (without YH)
Tears Are In Your Eyes
The Race Is On Again (without YH)
Above the Sound
I Found A Reason w/ John Cameron Mitchell(Velvet Underground)
Waves of Fear w/ John Cameron Mitchell (Lou Reed)
Clumsy Grandmother Serves Delicious Desert By Mistake (Jad Fair)
Out the Window
Styles of the Times
Tom Courtenay
Little Honda (The Hondells)

Wasn’t Born To Follow (Carole King/Gerry Goffin)
Cool Metro (David Johanson/Syl Sylvain)
Hanky Panky Nohow (John Cale) (without YH & NC)

setlist via Jesse Jarnow / Frank & Earthy

More From Brooklyn Vegan