Yo La Tengo Welcomes Steve Gunn & Others In New York City

Yo La Tengo kicked off their annual 8 Nights Of Hanukkah With Yo La Tengo holiday residency at Bowery Ballroom in New York City on Sunday. The trio was joined by a number of guests during last night’s show including Steve Gunn, CJ Camerieri, Kevin Micka, Amy Rigby and DJ Time Traveler.

Amy Rigby was the opening act with comedian David Sedaris also offering a set before Yo La Tengo took the stage. YLT bassist James McNew handled lead vocals on “Back In The New York Groove,” a song written by Russ Ballard and popularized by Ace Frehley, to start the trio’s set. The group sang the tune as “Back With The New York Jews.” A fast version of “Today Is The Day” followed along with “For You Too,” an acoustic “Let’s Do It Wrong” and “Serpentine.”

Horn player CJ Camerieri was the first guest of a run that comes 20 years after Yo La Tengo started the tradition at Maxwell’s in Hoboken, New Jersey. Guests are an integral part of 8 Nights Of Hanukkah With Yo La Tengo and Camerieri added to six songs in the middle of last night’s set beginning with “Shadows” and ending with “Before We Run.” CJ also contributed to “Beanbag Chair,” a cover of Sam Elwitt’s “Eight Candles” that featured Kevin Micka on drums, “Walking Away From You” and a take on Len Barry’s “1-2-3.”

Yo La Tengo continued on sans guests for “Sudden Organ,” “Artificial Heart” and “Decora.” Steve Gunn emerged to join the trio for a set-closing “I Heard You Looking.”

Another tradition at the residency is loading the encore with covers. Camerieri returned and teamed with Rigby on guitar and vocals to help Yo La Tengo start last night’s five-song encore with “At The Well” from Amy’s time in Last Roundup. The trio then honored Velvet Underground with performances of “She’s My Best Friend,” “It’s All Right (The Way That You Live)” and “I Heard Her Call My Name.” WFMU’s DJ Time Traveler led Yo La Tengo through Heatwave’s “Always And Forever” to end the night.

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Setlist (via Frank & Earthy)

Back in the New York Groove, Today Is The Day (fast), For You Too, Let’s Do It Wrong (acoustic), Serpentine, Shadows [1], Beanbag Chair [2], Eight Candles [2], Walking Away From You [1], 1-2-3 [1], Before We Run [1], Sudden Organ, Artificial Heart, Decora, I Heard You Looking [3]

Encore: At the Well [4], She’s My Best Friend, It’s All Right (The Way That You Live), I Heard Her Call My Name, Always and Forever [5]

  • [1] – with CJ Camerieri on French horn & trumpet
  • [2] – with CJ Camerieri on French horn & trumpet and Kevin Micka on drums
  • [3] – with Steve Gunn on guitar
  • [4] – with CJ Camerieri on French horn & trumpet and Amy Rigby on guitar/vocals
  • [5] – with DJ Time Traveler on vocals