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August 13, 2013 at 11:52 AM

Yeah Yeah Yeahs at Marymoor: no wasted night

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs (Photo by Christopher Nelson)

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs (Photo by Christopher Nelson)

There was absolutely no despair at the Yeah Yeah Yeahs concert Monday night at Marymoor Park in Redmond.

Riding high on the strength of its current single, “Despair,” the New York trio led by flamboyant singer Karen O was in a buoyant mood, performing songs from its current album, “Mosquito,” with barn-dance euphoria.

“Oh, despair, you were there through my wasted days,” Karen O sang. “You’re there through my wasted nights . . . “

But this was no wasted night for the hundreds of concertgoers celebrating the band’s first Seattle-area show in years.

“Marymoor!” Karen O shouted gleefully, as if the band had just arrived in a musical wonderland dusted with snowflake confetti.

Dressed in embroidered yellow jacket and matching shorts, Karen O (Karen Lee Orzolek) mixed explosive rockers with more subdued ballads, tapping songs from several key albums in the group’s decade-long career. She thanked the crowd profusely for coming out on a Monday night to see the band, but for true-believers it was a no-brainer.

The colorful singer was a bundle of energy – as if Gwen Stefani, Courtney Love and some ‘50s rockabilly queen with a raspy voice had all been rolled into one.

Karen 0 (Photo by Christopher Nelson)

Karen 0 (Photo by Christopher Nelson)

Backing Karen O were band members Nick Zinner (guitar, keyboards) and Brian Chase (drums), as well as guest touring musician David Pajo (bass). Each musician added his own special sauce to the fiery set.

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs closed with such songs as a confetti-strewn “Heads Will Roll” (from the 2009 album, “It’s Blitz!”) and “Maps” (from the group’s 2003 debut album, “Fever to Tell”).

Opening act was eccentric but amusing pop-soul musician Har Mar Superstar (a.k.a. Sean Na Na), who sang the title song of his current album, “Bye Bye 17,” as well as a number of other tunes from his repertoire of oddities.

The Minnesota-based singer finished his set with a bare-chested, pot-bellied finale sung in falsetto (as if performing moments earlier on his back with his feet in the air had been any less strange).

Gene Stout: gene@genestout.com

Comments | Topics: Karen O, Marymoor, Yeah Yeah Yeahs

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