By Friday night at 8:30 p.m., an hour before the opening band got on stage for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs show, a sold-out 9:30 Club was packed to capacity. Despite the close quarters, the overall audience excitement was visible and growing.
The acclaimed rock group have spent their decade-long careers touring and recording, and then touring and recording some more. They have put out nine records and performed on international stages. Having just released a remix album in June, they’re back on the road – and in D.C.
“The crowd was loud and energetic,” said Troy McConnel, a high school student from Maryland. “They made the show that much more exciting.”
As Services, the opening act, played its set, the main act could be seen dancing on the upper balcony.
“I just love [the lead singer’s] energy,” said Taylor Deville, another student from Maryland.
When the Yeah Yeah Yeahs finally hit the stage, the eclectic band entertained the crowd with more than just an interesting sound. As lead singer Karen O’s electronic voice serenaded concert-goers, her onstage demeanor made the jam-packed crowd worship her every move.
“I’ve never seen such an engaged performer,” said sophomore London Venturelli, who was one of the lucky ones standing at the front of the pit.
After walking onstage later than her band mates, O greeted the audience wearing multi-colored tights, a neon-painted top and a Japanese kimono. As she sang “Dull Life,” she moved about the stage, having what could be called her own personal dance party.
“Her stage presence reminds me of Marilyn Manson,” said Dakota Fine, a recent alum of GW who was there taking photos for a blog called “Brightest Young Things.”
The stage presence lingered throughout the show, as music from the band’s most recent studio album, “It’s Blitz!” served as a sort of soundtrack to the animated movement of the lead singer, guitarist Nick Zinner and drummer Brian Chase.
The punk trio, who have been playing together since meeting in college, even got the audience involved in the song “Cheated Hearts” by holding out the microphone for fans to sing.
During the concert, O switched into the same leather jacket she dawned in the music video for the song “Zero.” Zinner snapped pictures of the rambunctious crowd for the band’s Web site.
They played tracks off of past records, including 2006’s album, “Show Your Bones,” and rocked out to hit singles like “Maps.” With each new song came even more enthusiasm from the bustling crowd.
“The show totally exceeded my expectations,” Deville said.
Correction: This article’s photo was provided by London Venturelli, and not taken by Emily Katz.
This article appeared in the October 1, 2009 issue of the Hatchet.