Yo La Tengo kept their Hanukkah run rolling on Tuesday night at New York’s Bowery Ballroom, and the band closed out the third of their eight guest-filled nights at the venue with a surprise reunion of ’60s New York group The Strangeloves, who hadn’t played together in over 50 years.
As with the other nights of the run, YLT welcomed a couple of opening acts last night, starting with a set from comedian Jo Firestone followed by music from Nancy. The main set of the night then kicked off with a drone-heavy cover of Paul Simon’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” and YLT’s performance also featured covers of NRBQ’s “What Can I Say” and The McCoys’ “Sorrow,” the latter of which hinted at what was to come later in the night.
YLT’s Ira Kaplan addressed the crowd before the encore, calling this Hanukkah run one of his favorites and noting the five-decades-in-the-making milestone that the band was about to host, and explained that when he first hear of The Strangeloves, he thought they were three brothers from Australia (a fake backstory the group touted in the mid-’60s), not three (non-brother) songwriters from New York.
Continuing their trend of honoring Jewish songwriters with their Hanukkah-run encores, Kaplan and company then welcomed out The Strangeloves trio of Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein and Richard Gottehrer, plus Matt Fiveash on bass, and ran through two of the band’s ’60s singles, “Cara-Lin” and “Night Time” before offering a take on “Hang On Sloopy,” which The Strangeloves recorded with singer Rick Derringer under the name The McCoys in 1965. The night then wrapped up with The Strangeloves’ biggest hit, “I Want Candy.”
See the setlist below, along with fan-shot video from the evening. Yo La Tengo return to Bowery Ballroom tonight for round four of their Hanukkah run.
Yo La Tengo
Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY
Bridge Over Troubled Water> Big Day Coming, Before We Run, House Fall Down, Ashes, Black Flowers, What Can I Say, Sorrow, Artificial Heart, Some Kinda Fatigue, Nothing to Hide, Sugarcube, Pass the Hatchet I Think I’m Goodkind
Enc: Cara-Lin, Night Time, Hang On Sloopy, I Want Candy
Notes: *w/ The Strangeloves and Matt Fiveash