There were more things to do in the Twin Cities this weekend than there are ways to damage your gastrointestinal track at the State Fair. But art fairs, sports ball games, proms and graduations couldn’t stack up to the magic that happened at the Armory Saturday night. It’s been 10 years since the band has been to the area, and they made up for the lost time in a big way. They are out in support of their latest release Cool It Down.
First up, and arguably a headliner themselves, was Perfume Genius. They launched into “Your Body Changes Everything” With the powerful drums reverberating through the Armory, that opening tune really gave off Peter Gabriel vibes. “Without You” picked up the pace, and had the room dancing. Haunting and expansive performed live, “Describe” took on a whole new life. The slide guitar was next level. But the highlight of the set was definitely “Otherside” I have no idea what the song is about, but it really hits you like sledgehammer, bringing up emotions I din’t even know I had. I was honestly like, what the hell just happened?
I think I saw someone “saging” or smudging stage prior to the band coming on. And if I did, it was fitting, as KarenO appeared at center stage for all appearances like a glittering shaman goddess. The band opened like a strong uppercut with “Spitting On The Edge Of The World”. They were joined on the opener by Perfume Genius, who also appears on the recording. You could tell from the cacophonous cheers that the Twin Cities dearly missed these guys. Karen O commanded the stage with the ambition of an emperor. Arms raised, smiling, you would be hard pressed to find someone more excited to be there. She held the packed Armory in the palm of her hand. Her exuberance was infectious as she took numerous breaks to make dedications and give thanks. The confetti cannon’s fire added to the majestic, festival like atmosphere of the set.
Along with Karen O, guitarist Nick Zinner and drummer Brian Chase looked like they were having the time of their lives, mirroring the experience of the crowd. That adoring audience appeared to be mostly made up of hard core fans who appreciated the deep dive the band did. They really blew the dust off the catalog, breaking out “Maps”, “Date With The Night” and “Y Control” among others. The band created an enormous cyclone of sound, filling the Armory with sonic reverberations that penetrated intensely. The whole set clearly demonstrated their status as founding members of the indie rock eruption.
There was no cooling down Saturday night, it was like the early 2000’s never ended and the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s are still on top of their game.