July 20, 2009
I was very excited to be back at Pitchfork Festival after taking off last year for my wedding/honeymoon. I arrived at Union Park just in time to catch Yo La Tengo, my favorite of the four bands participating in Friday’s Write the Night performances where the band’s pick their setlist based on web votes. I had seen Yo La Tengo twice before this (one time was also at Pitchfork, three years back) and this was definitely the best, mainly due to a setlist was full of classics like ”Autumn Sweater”, “Tom Courtenay”, and “Stockholm Syndrome”.
The biggest highlight for me was hearing two of my favorite songs back to back from And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out, “Let’s Save Tony Orlando’s House” and “Cherry Chapstick”, the latter sending a burst of power-pop energy through the crowd. It wouldn’t be a Yo La Tengo show without an extended Ira Kaplin guitar solo/wank session which came during the sonic assault of “Pass the Hachet, I Think I’m Goodkind”.
After deviating briefly to play a new song, ”Periodically Double or Triple” (which featured a really cool spacey keyboard solo) the band then closed it off with what I can only assume was the #1 requested song, “Sugarcube”. I’ve always loved that track and it was a thrill to finally see it played live and sing a long to indelible chorus, “try to squeeze a drop of blood from a sugar cube”.