Yo La Tengo played Central Park SummerStage on Monday (7/17) which was a great night, filled with noise, quiet loveliness, and a few surprises. They kicked things off with a cover of Ace Frehley's "New York Groove," and then launched into a the long, tracelike "Pass the Hatchet, I Think I'm Goodkind." Ira Kaplan noted that 26 years ago Yo La Tengo played their first show with James McNew on bass at Central Park SummerStage, and also talked about seeing shows at Wollman Rink as a kid. (Sha Na Na, Poco...) There were a few hits, too -- "Autumn Sweater" and "Sugarcube" -- and a long, jammy main set closing take on "I Heard You Looking" with James and Jack from Ultimate Painting (who opened the show) joining in.
The surprise came during the encore, as Ira welcomed his mom to the stage to sing their cover of "My Little Corner of the World" at which time they also announced the return of their famed Hanukkah shows, which they used to do at Maxwell's (which closed as we knew it in 2013), but will this year happen at Bowery Ballroom from December 12 - 19. Tickets for those shows go on sale Friday, July 21 at noon.
Ultimate Painting's opening set was a great appetizer for Yo La Tengo, and it was a treat to hear them play "Talkin' Central Park Blues" (from their first album) in actual Central Park. Video of that, along with Yo La Tengo's SummerStage setlist, below.
SETLIST: Yo La Tengo @ Central Park Summerstage 7/17/17
New York Groove
Pass the Hatchet, I Think I'm Goodkind
From a Motel 6
All Your Secrets
I'll Be Around
Before We Run
I Heard You Looking (with Ultimate Painting)
I Feel Like Going Home
My Little Corner of the World
(Anita Bryant cover) (Sung by Ira's mom)