Yeah Yeah Yeahs / TV on the Radio Phoenix Concert Theatre, Toronto ON - February 27, 2004

Palpable excitement wasn't just coming from the teeming throngs of 18-year-old girls with drastic, yet mousy, black haircuts and '80s shredded tights. There was that edgy, jumpy feeling that everyone had for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Even TV on the Radio couldn't contain themselves. A human fountain with a seemingly limitless reserve of energy, Karen O works a room like few can. Drastically, that is. Her special shriek is the rare good match for the Phoenix's always shitty sound system — it entirely lacks midrange, but so does KO. Karen works the extremes in every way, playing her body like she's shredding a guitar. She belts out intensely angry, intensely loving songs, though you get the feeling she'd take no prisoners no matter what the emotion. Behind the spectacle, the other two Yeahs work up a solid rock frenzy, though drummer Brian Chase's drumstick twirls seem supremely out of place, especially compared to Karen's gratuitous knocking over of guitarist Nick Zinner's mic stand. Somewhere between flooring the audience with most of Fever to Tell ("No No No" can lay you out flat in seconds), and an almost tearful dedication of "Art Star" to the swooning Toronto audience (whose gushing adulation for the band had Karen squeakily moved), KO started throwing paw-fulls of chocolate cake into the audience, almost forgetting to save a piece for TVotR's Kyp Malone, who the cake was for. You got the feeling that those who were going home both sweaty and chocolate-covered couldn't have had a better night.