Yo La Tengo’s 2019 Hanukkah run starts this weekend — who’s opening?
One of the great NYC holiday traditions, Yo La Tengo's annual Hanukkah run at Bowery Ballroom starts this Sunday (12/22) and runs through Sunday, December 29. You can still get tickets for the the 12/22 kickoff as well as 12/24 and 12/25. It's also worth checking the ticket link throughout the week, as they usually release some tickets during the run.
Part of the fun is that Yo La Tengo make each night special, with different setlists and surprise openers (a comedian and a band/musician each night) and surprise guests for the encore as well. You never know who it's going to be until you show up that night. We have no idea who will open at this year's Hanukkah run, but it's always fun to guess. With Hanukkah falling over Christmas week, there are less artists on tour during the run, but we wouldn't be surprised if Sun Ra Arkestra (who have played the last two years), 75 Dollar Bill or Wreckless Eric opened. NRBQ, who play WFMU Monty Hall on 12/29, are a possibility. Neil Hegarty's The Howling Hex play Baby's on 12/29, too, which is another possibility. Fellow New Jerseyans Garcia Peoples are playing one of the official afterparties for Phish's MSG run, would not be out of the question.
For that matter there's Phish ... it's not unthinkable, and they and YLT are both prone to jamming and covers. Likewise, David Byrne has a couple nights off from his Broadway show. It also doesn't have to be bands folks who are in town, either. Superchunk flew in just to play in 2017.
As for comedians, that is not as hard. Todd Barry is a lock. David Cross and Jons Benjamin and Glaser are always a possibility, as are Fred Armisen, John Oliver, Judah Friedlander, John Hodgman, Josh Gondelman, Roy Wood, Jr, Lucas Bros, Emmy Blotnick, Jo Firestone and Joe Pera.
Who do you think might show up this year?
The surprise guests in 2019 included Sharon Van Etten, Bill Callahan, Sun Ra Arkestra, Blind Boys from Alabama, Graham Nash, John Langford, Matmos, LaLa Brooks, Steve Gunn, Oneida, Jim Gaffigan, John Oliver, David Cross, Joe Pera, Todd Barry and more.