Confession: I don't know Yoko Ono's music, I've never seen her perform and I had no idea what was in store for Noise Pop's opening night. But being that this marked the band's reunion tour after a 20+ year break, there was no question that I must go. And if the standing ovation Yoko got just by walking onto the stage was any indication, no matter what followed, she would do no wrong.
Singing—so passé. Yoko brought vocals to a new level with song after song of animal sounds, jumbled words, echoing orgasms of sound and spoken word in the form of the artist's ethereal poetry. The performance was at least backed by real music, courtesty of her son Sean Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band, and the whole experience was really a sight to be seen.
After the first "song," it all just made sense—Yoko is spectacle for the sake of spectacle and I realized the show was exactly what I expected. A series of film clips spanning Yoko's life, although somewhat self-congratulatory, made for a nice intro for those of us too young to remember and allowed the older contingent time to reminisce. She began by saying, "Life is hard but we manage" and then proceeded to break into ridiculous dance moves that proved the artist has no problem poking fun at herself.
"Waiting for the D Train" and "The Sun is Down!" from last year's Between My Head and the Sky were complemented by such past hits as "Mind Train" and "Death of Samantha." For the finale, the band brought local indie darlings Deerhoof (who opened the show on a mellow high note) back onstage to sing the famous hippie number "Give Peace a Chance." All in all, the cacophonous shrieks of each ballad were somehow simultaneously meditative, leaving me and everyone else at this packed (but surprisingly not sold-out show as of 8:30 last night) concert mesmerized. Long live Yoko Ono and the Plastic Ono Band.
Yoko Ono Plastic Band