BEING THERE: The Yeah Yeah Yeahs @ Penn’s Landing


The Yeah Yeah Yeahs blitzed the stage at the Plaza at Penn’s Landing and took no prisoners during an energetic fifteen song set last night. Lead singer Karen O was a red and yellow blur in a yellow shirt bearing Keith Richards’ face and a Opry-ish sequined red pants and frilly jacket combo. She hopped like an 80’s aerobics instructor, bounding from one end of the stage to the other dispensing high fives to the front row and smiling from ear to ear the whole set. Occasionally she would stomp a trigger on the stage and unleash a shower of letter-Y shaped white confetti into the crowd. Early in the set the YYY’s delivered a one-two punch of primal, rumbling new album title track “Mosquito” and an explosive rendition of their siren-like classic “Phenomena” that had the crowd roaring. Another highlight was the achingly beautiful ballad “Despair,” during which O briefly let down her rock star persona to move the crowd with the song’s stark beauty. After that it was back to pure rock n’ roll as O donned a leather jacket for an anthem-like “Zero,” which had the whole crowd singing and bouncing along with her. The band delivered powerful almost religious version of “Sacrilege” that undoubtedly left visions of the disturbing music video in the crowds head. They closed their set with the rollicking disco rock of “Heads Will Roll” and left the cheering, clapping crowd hungry for more. The group returned for an encore, with O bringing out the seven-year-old daughter of one of the band members, introducing her to the crowd and pointing out that this was her very first rock show. The little girl leaned into the mic and said “Hello” and received a warm City of Brotherly Love from the crowd. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs then played an angular, beautiful “Maps” which they dedicated to all the lovers. They closed their set with a frantic, sweaty “Date With The Night” and left the crowd hoping it wouldn’t be four years before they played here again. — PETE TROSHAK