Monday, April 21, 2003


Wow. Got a chance to see The Yeah Yeah Yeahs at the Henry Fonda Theater on Friday night. That's what I call a power trio. Guitarist Nick Zinner and drummer Brian Chase generate a tidal wave of sound and lead singer Karen O surfs the crest. From the moment she strutted out on stage -- picking straws out of her cleavage, putting them in her mouth, then spitting them out -- O owned the joint. She mesmerized the edgy youngish crowd with her writhing and prancing and bending over and a voice alernating between a lioness' roar and blues babe's bawl. Brash and trashy one minute, cute and playful the next, she made it so you couldn't take your eyes off her for one second. Already billed as the next Chrissie Hynde, for a few brief flashes, when she turned her back to the audience, or hopped around on one foot, or flirted with danger by swinging the mike around wildly, she opened a door into the past and reflected Jim Morrison. I echoed the sentiments of a new friend of mine who went to the show with us, when he said "Everyone there either wanted to be her or sleep with her and some wanted both." He stated out loud something I felt for a nanosecond but instantly buried deep down, "I never understood why people wanted to touch something a rock star just sweated on, but when she put that hat on her head then tossed it into the crowd, I understood. I wanted to touch the hat." I too wanted to touch the hat. Karen O made everyone want a piece of her and Friday night they were lucky to get it in such an intimate setting. The newly revamped and reopened Henry Fonda Theater, a Hollywood Blvd. remnant from Old Hollywood, offered concert-goers the opportunity to view the show in a variety of ways -- down and dirty on the floor in front of the stage, civilized and comfortable from the theater seats on the mezzanine level, or with a drink in one hand and a smoke in the other on the outdoor deck with the show projected onto a giant wall. Some great indie rock acts passing through there these days and after Friday night, the Henry Ford now ranks among my favorite venues in LA.

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs have a hit single on the British charts, a brand new album on Interscope Records set for release a week from tomorrow, and the swell of the Brooklyn buzz fueling their rise. The sky might not even be the limit. Yeah.

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