It's gonna be tough to top the first night of Yo La Tengo's 2018 Hanukkah run at Bowery Ballroom. The show was already pretty awesome, featuring Sun Ra Arkestra as the opening act who also joined them for half their headlining set. But then for the encore, which was a tribute to Graham Gouldman of 10CC, they brought out Graham Nash to sing a couple songs including The Hollies' "Look Through Any Window" and "Bus Stop" which Gouldman wrote.

Sun Ra Arkestra have opened for Yo La Tengo at previous Hanukkah shows, and they've played collaborative sets elsewhere, so this seemed like the perfect opener for the week, with leader Marshall Allen, still a force at 94, and the whole band in good spirits. The comedic portion of the night was provided by Bridey Elliott (daughter of Chris Elliot and sister of Abby Elliott) and Rebecca Robles who did a quasi vaudeville routine about two old (and olde, very 1930s) New Yorkers running into one another on the street.

Introducing Bridey and Rebecca, YLT's Ira Kaplan noted that tonight, in addition to being the first night of Hanukkah, was also the 35th anniversary of Yo La Tengo's formation. Jim White of The Dirty Three joined Ira, Georgia and James for their entire set, and they kicked things off with a cover of The Beatles "From Me to You" which they rewrote, given the holiday, as "from me to Jews." They kept things mellow for the first half of the set after that, but things were jumping when Sun Ra Arkestra (half of them, at least) joined them for "Dreaming," and more, wrapping things up with James McNew on a third drum kit for a version of Sun Ra's "Nuclear War." Then came the encore where Ira told the crowd, "I can hardly believe I'm about to say this," introducing Graham Nash.

Sunday night's charity was refugee assist organization HIAS, the mix CD of the night was made by WFMU's Joe Belock, and the post-show DJ was Michael Slaboch of The Numero Group. YLT also have special t-shirts for the run, and a poster, at the merch table. While the Hanukkah run has been sold out for some time, tickets were just released for most of the night (except the final two) were recently released. You can check out the setlist (via Jesse Jarnow's Frank & Earthy blog) and a few video from the night below.


Night 1 Mix CD:


SETLIST: Yo La Tengo @ Bowery Ballroom, Hanukkah Night 1 December 2, 2018 (via Jesse Jarnow's Frank & Earthy)

Yo La Tengo at Bowery Ballroom
2 December 2018
*(Hanukkah, night 1)*

comedians: Bridey Elliot & Rebecca Robles
opening act: Sun Ra Arkestra
mix CD: Joe Belock
benefiting: HIAS

whole set & encore with Jim White on drums. members of the Sun Ra Arkestra enter during “Dreaming” and stay for rest of set.

From Me To You (The Beatles, sung as “From Me To Jews”)
Here You Are > (with Arkestra’s Danny Ray Thompson on voicemail greeting)
I Was The Fool Beside You For Too Long >
Tears Are In Your Eyes
Out of the Pool >
Upside Down
Dreaming (Sun Ra)
My Heart’s Reflection
Deeper Into Movies
Emulsified (Rex Garvin & the Mighty Cravers)
All the Glitter Is Gone
Nuclear War (Sun Ra)

For Your Love (Graham Gouldman) (with Matt Clarke on keyboard)
Look Through Any Window (Graham Gouldman) (with Graham Nash on vocals & Matt Clarke on guitar)
Bus Stop (Graham Gouldman) (with Graham Nash on vocals/guitar & Matt Clarke on guitar)

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