Yeah Yeah Yeahs Field Trip, Toronto ON, June 3

Yeah Yeah Yeahs Field Trip, Toronto ON, June 3
Photo: Stephen McGill
Sometimes everything comes together to create a perfect evening. As Yeah Yeah Yeahs walked onto the darkened Garrison Stage, the sporadic showers that had plagued Field Trip all afternoon finally ceased. With the weather on their side, Karen O and company let nothing stand in their way. They treated attendees to a knockdown, drag-out performance as colossal as the massive mural that hung behind them.
Each band member's unique presence fell into perfect harmony. Drummer Brian Chase alternated between simple stomps and rapid-fire breakbeats, flailing away at his kit on the former while keeping his poise on the latter. The cool counterpoint to O's limitless energy, guitarist Nick Zinner remained relatively static, knocking out effects-drenched fretboard heroics with seemingly little effort. Even touring member Imaad Wasif got in on the action, dancing while hunched over a bass guitar or keyboard.
None of it held a candle to O's peerless stagecraft, though. From the moment she bounded onstage in a long silver coat on "Rich" to the last time she bludgeoned the stage floor with her microphone on "Date with a Night," she left absolutely no doubt that she belongs in the pantheon of great rock performers. O elevated stock gestures and deployed plenty of original ones, offering the mic to the audience on "Cheated Hearts," transubstantiating the crowd into a congregation on the gospel outro to "Sacrilege," and unleashing a pair of giant eyeball balloons on the crowd during "Zero."
Amid all these grand gestures, smaller moments still stood out. O dedicated a tender rendition of "Maps" to lovers, mothers, and sons, while "Cheated Hearts" stretched out with a playful call-and-response from individual audience members. All through the night, the crowd sang along to hits and album cuts alike, demonstrating that the love O professed for Toronto was unquestionably mutual.

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