The Crystals’ LaLa Brooks Among Yo La Tengo’s Guests At Bowery Ballroom


Yo La Tengo hit the midway point of their 8 Nights Of Hanukkah run at New York City’s Bowery Ballroom on Wednesday. Last night’s performance saw the venerable indie-rock act joined by electronic duo Matmos, who opened the night and joined in for the majority of the main set, as well as occasional Yo La Tengo member Dave Schramm on guitar. Additionally, LaLa Brooks of the 1960s group The Crystals was the evening’s special guest during a cover-filled encore.

The Hoboken-born band opened night four of their stand with “Everyday” from their 2000 release And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out. The first guest of the night, outside of Matmos, came around midway through the band’s 12-song main set as Schramm emerged. The guitarist played in an early incarnation of Yo La Tengo and rejoined the band during their touring cycle in support for 2015’s Stuff Like That There. The augmented ensembled delivered takes on “The Ballad Of Red Buckets,” “Awhileawway” and “The Summer.” Covers of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” and The Hondells’ 1964 hit “Little Honda” came ahead of a set-closing take on “The Story Of Yo La Tengo.”

Yo La Tengo were once again joined by Schramm to start their extended encore as they reached back to their 1986 debut Ride The Tiger for “The Way Some People Die.” As they traditionally do during their Hanukkah runs Ira Kaplan & Co. honored Jewish songwriters next. Last night they performed a cover of Carole King and Gerry Goffin’s “Wasn’t Born To Follow.” The King-Goffin penned tune originally appeared on The Byrds’ 1968 release The Notorious Byrd Brothers.

Next, Yo La Tengo brought out Brooks along with a horn section. The Crystals singer helped close out the night by singing lead on a number of the group’s Phil Spector-produced hits from the early 1960s. Brooks delivered takes on “Then He Kissed Me,” “I Wonder” and “Da Doo Ron Ron.” Watch fan-shot video of LaLa Brooks sit-in captured by Chris Connelly below:

Then He Kissed Me

I Wonder

Da Doo Ron Ron

Setlist (via Frank & Earthy Blog)

Everyday, Let’s Do It Wrong, Flying Lesson (Hot Chicken #1) > Saturday, Above the Sound > The Ballad of Red Buckets*, Awhileaaway*, The Summer*, Cherry Chapstick > Dreams** (Fleetwood Mac), Little Honda (The Hondells) The Story of Yo La Tango

Encore: The Way Some People Die*, Wasn’t Born To Follow* (Carole King/Gerry Goffin), Then He Kissed Me*** (Phil Spector/Ellie Greenwich/Jeff Barry), I Wonder*** (Phil Spector/Ellie Greenwich/Jeff Barry), Da Doo Ron Ron*** (Phil Spector/Ellie Greenwich/Jeff Barry)

* with Dave Schramm on guitar, ** with Dutch Worthington on bass, *** w. Dave Schramm, LaLa Brooks (The Crystals) & horn section

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