Photo courtesy of Matador Records


Yo La Tengo’s traditional Hanukkah Run, which returned in 2012 as an annual event at New York’s Bowery Ballroom, continued on Monday night with surprise openers the Blind Boys of Alabama.

Before YLT took the stage comedian Roy Wood Jr. warmed up the crowd, and indie favorites Perfume Genius curated a special mixed CD to be played between sets.

Blind Boys of Alabama stuck around for YLT’s opening number, an acoustic take on “Ohm” form their 2013 LP Fade, as well as the following cover of Velvet Underground’s “Jesus” (the latter was a nod to the Blind Boys of Alabama’s gospel roots).

From there, Yo La Tengo took the reins completely, offering up tunes like “False Alarm,” “Stockholm Syndrome,” “The Last Days of Disco” and “Beanbag Chair.”

Later, as the single set drew to a close, the band performed The Minutemen’s arrangement of Van Halen’s “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” followed by their mid-90s cuts “Decora” and “Double Dare.” YLT capped off the set with an electric version of their opener “Ohm,” and then welcomed the Blind Boys of Alabama for one more gospel-infused tune, “More Stars Than There Are In Heaven.”

For their encore, Yo La Tengo invited singer-guitarist Jon Langford of The Mekons for a smattering of tunes, including “The Plans We Made” by Lonesome Bob and “Girl From the North Country” by Bob Dylan as well as “Where Were You” and “Hard to be Human” by The Mekons.

Yo La Tengo’s Hanukah celebration continues tonight at Bowery Ballroom.

Check out the full setlist (courtesy of Jesse Jarnow, Frank & Earthy) below:

Yo La Tengo, Hanukkah Celebration
December 3, 2018
Bowery Ballroom, New York City

Ohm^, Jesus^, False Alarm, Stockholm Syndrome, The Last Days of Disco, Beanbag Chair, Shades of Blue, The Story of Jazz, Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love, Decora, Double Dare, Ohm, More Stars Than There Are In Heaven^

*(encore)* with Jon Langford of the Mekons on guitar/vocals
Enc: The Plans We Made+, Girl From the North Country+, Where Were You+, Hard To Be Human Again+

^with Blind Boys of Alabama
# acoustic
+ with Jon Langford of The Mekons