It was a perfect crisp fall evening in Central Park on Friday, making for ideal conditions to see Yo La Tengo, who played the last free show of SummerStage's 2021 season. (They were originally supposed to play a month ago, but threats of severe weather had them reschedule it.) Night had just fallen on New York City, but they opened their 90-minute set with a gentle cover of The Velvet Underground's "Who Loves the Sun" which sounded great surrounded by trees at twilight. Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley and James McNew always do a nice job of mixing favorites and deep cuts, the quiet and the loud, the poppy and the droney at their shows, and Friday was no different. It would be wilful not to play "Autumn Sweater" on October 1 in Central Park, and they obliged, and also played "I'll Be Around" (dedicated to Yoko Ono), "Big Day Coming," "Deeper in Movies," "Decora," and an extended, set-ending "Pass the Hatchet, I Think I'm Goodkind" (which some may know as the theme to David Chang's podcast) that really let YLT get their yayas out.

For the encore, they blasted out a cover of Motörhead's "Bomber" before dialing things down with an acoustic version of "Tom Courtenay" with Georgia on vocals. Then, as some hoped might happen, Ira welcomed his mom to the stage to sing lead on their cover of Anita Bryant's "My Little Corner of the World" before letting everyone know that their annual Hanukkah shows at Bowery Ballroom would indeed be happening this year, news that was met with enormous applause and was the perfect way to end the night.

Long-running New Haven band Mountain Movers made for a great lead-in with their spin on melody, drone and noise. Amanda Nazario opened the night with a DJ set. Pictures from Friday by Kenneth Bachor, and Yo La Tengo's setlist, are below.

SummerStage in Central Park wraps up 2021 with Kenny Beats and Friends tonight (tickets).


SETLIST: Yo La Tengo @ SummerStage at Central Park 10/1/2021
Who Loves the Sun (The Velvet Underground)
Before We Run
For You Too
Beanbag Chair
Tiny Birds
I'll Be Around
Big Day Coming
Autumn Sweater
Deeper Into Movies
Pass the Hatchet, I Think I'm Goodkind

Bomber (Motörhead cover)
Tom Courtenay
My Little Corner of the World (Anita Bryant)

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