Everything I had ever heard and read about the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' live show and Karen O's presence as a frontwoman was absolutely, amazingly true. From the first chord to the final bow Karen O and Co. exerted the kind of bombastic energy rarely seen at rock and roll shows these days; the kind that keeps the kids bouncing and the drinks flowing and makes even the most overstimulated concert attendee stand and stare with their mouth hanging open for at least a minute or two.
The band kicked things off with "Heads Will Roll," one of the singles off of this year's It's Blitz, with Karen O standing center stage dressed in a light-up hot pink mask. She sang the first song with the mask covering her entire head, and then cast it aside and left it slumped and glowing on the stage for the rest of the set.
There has been a lot of negativity surrounding the Yeah Yeah Yeah's latest album, and most complaints seem to center around the fact that the band -- shockingly! -- attempted to move in a new direction by cutting down on the guitar work and adding more synthesizer. Regardless of your opinion on whether the YYYs should be scolded for straying from their punk rock roots, the new songs sounded fantastic live. Karen O led the dance party by bouncing up and down with her fist in the air, and the main floor of First Ave followed suit by bouncing up and down in unison and singing along with every word.
Simply put, the YYYs put on a great show -- and that's not something that happens often in this era of too-cool indie rock and navelgaze revival. Karen O strutted, prowled, snarled, and flirted her way into the hearts of every boy and girl in the room, proving yet again that she is one of the greatest and most commanding frontwomen in rock and roll. And despite all of her jumping up and down, her voice never swayed and stayed on-pitch throughout the set -- a talent any pop princess would die for.
Oh, and did I mention that there were glitter cannons? There were. Expertly-fired ones set off by Karen O's foot at the most opportune moments. As the very sold-out crowd cleared out of the Main Room after the show, tiny little Y-shaped pieces of glitter covered the floor, the stairs, and the backs of people's heads as they headed out into the night.