Yo La Tengo usually have a comedian as one of the openers for their Hanukkah show, but for the fifth night of thier 2019 run at Bowery Ballroom they instead had a mentalist: regular Johnny Carson-era Tonight Show guest The Amazing Kreskin. It was one of a few surprises the band had in store for folks on Thursday night.

The musical opener was Sir Richard Bishop, who also played with Yo La Tengo for a few songs during their set. He and Kreskin were not the only pre-main-set entertainment, though. Josh Kantor, the Boston Red Sox organist known for throwing indie rock tunes into his Fenway Park game day repertoire, entertained between sets and then joined YLT for almost the whole show, which included a few covers (P.F. Sloan/Turtles, Modern Lovers). Ira, Georgia and James also brought out Sam Elwitt to perform their festive song "Eight Candles" which was written by Elwitt and is on the new Hanukkah+ album.

Meanwhile, Ira also crowdsurfed, all the way to the back of the room, during "Ohm." The encore included a cover of Devo's "Beautiful World" and then Kantor and Elwitt came back out for another P.F. Sloan song, "That's Cool, That's Trash" (recorded by The Kingsmen) with WFMU DJ and former Maxwell's booker Todd Abramson on vocals. The evening finished with an acoustic version of "Tom Courtenay."

Mary Halvorsen did Thursday's mix CD, Joe Belock was the post-show DJ, and proceeds went o You can check out Night 5's setlist (courtesy Jesse Jarnow's Frank & Earthy blog), plus pics and video, below.

You can also check out recaps for the entire 2019 Hanukkah run -- including appearances by Janet Weiss, Lucinda Williams, Sun Ra Arkestra, Steve Gunn/William Tyler, Christmas and more -- here.

Yo La Tengo’s remaining four Hanukkah shows at Bowery Ballroom are now all sold out, but sometimes more tickets are put back on sale, so it’s worth checking back.

Yo La Tengo – Hanukkah Night 4 @ Bowery Ballroom 12/25/2019 (via Frank & Earthy)
You Are Here
The Ballad of Red Buckets (with Sir Richard Bishop on guitar & Josh Kantor on organ)
Damage (with SRB & JK)
Upside Down (with JK)
Did I Tell You (with JK)
You Baby (P.F. Sloan/Steve Barri) (with JK & Sam Elwitt on guitar)
Eight Candles (Sam Elwitt) (with JK, SE, & Kevin Micka on drums)
When It’s Dark (with JK)
If It’s True (with JK)
I Should Have Known Better (with JK)
Paddle Forward (with JK)
Government Center (Modern Lovers) (with JK)
Ohm
Our Way To Fall

*(encore)*
Beautiful World (Devo)
That’s Cool, That’s Trash (P.F. Sloan/Steve Barri) (with JK, SE, & Todd Abramson on vocals)
Tom Courtenay (acoustic version)