Yeah Yeah Yeahs

LIVE: 2013 Sweetlife Festival

All photos by Joy Asico (joy@chunkyglasses.com/www.asicophoto.com) and Julia Lofstrand (julialofstrand@gmail.com/julialofstrandphotography.com/)

A memorable music festival often involves as much luck as alchemy. Is the lineup great? Do the performances match expectations? Does the weather cooperate (and do the masses stay engaged if it doesn't)? Are there good food and beverage vendors? Do they have enough variety (and supply) to satisfy the masses? Is the venue appropriate? Does the experience inside the venue trump any issues with traffic, parking, or the parking lot scene? Whether by luck, alchemy, voodoo, or just good vibes, and in spite of an often rainy day at the end of an awfully rainy week, the folks at sweetgreen can look back on the fourth installment (third at Merriweather Post Pavilion) of the Sweetlife festival with a smile. The almost 20,000 in attendance most certainly will!

Solange captivating the early crowd at the 2013 Sweetlife Festival

Solange drew an early-afternoon set at Sweetlife, and it wouldn't be controversial in the least to suggest that she stole the show. Leading a funky, dynamic, band she certainly proved to many in attendance that she is so much more than just "Beyonce's little sister." She delivered excellent renditions of many tracks from her outstanding, Blood Orange-produced dance/pop/funk EP True. Solange has style and substance, incorporating excellent dance moves and a confident, winning stage presence, but her voice is what made her set truly special. It soared, swooped, trilled, and whispered throughout her mesmerizing, too brief set, which included stellar performances of "Losing You," "Lovers in the Parking Lot," and "Bad Girls," but what may have been the most memorable moment of her set was the closer. With a band that has clearly explored every nuance of "Bumpy's Lament" in tow, Solange brought cheers from a boisterous bunch at the main stage with her rousing, note-perfect interpretation of Dirty Projectors' hit "Stillness is the Move." The best proof that Solange is one to watch? At 2:15 in the afternoon of what would prove to be a long day, so many couldn't take their eyes off of her.


REVIEW: Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Mosquito

Ten years after their aggressive, infectious full-length debut Fever to Tell, and four years after the magnificent It’s Blitz!, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have returned with Mosquito, an album that may prove to be the band’s most polarizing and least immediate offering to date. Lead singer Karen O has chosen to don Elvis-inspired jumpsuits while supporting the band’s latest album, but the new work gives every indication that the bratty, beer spitting persona she displayed may have finally, and truly, left the building. Drummer Brian Chase and multi-instrumentalist Nick Zinner join O in what is an inspired, if challenging, introspective synthesis of the band’s previous incarnations. But for those who are willing to endure a few odd turns (and the worst YYYs song to date), Mosquito ultimately offers a number of seductive rewards.