Saturday, May 18, 2013

Yeah Yeah Yeah! The Great GoogaMooga Has Landed.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs closing out their explosive set at the Great GoogaMooga 2013 in Prospect Park, Brooklyn.

Year Two of the Great GoogaMooga food/drink/music festival kicked off with a bang last night at the Nethermead in Prospect Park, and will run through tomorrow evening. After last year's semi-fiasco, in which lines and vendors short on stock prevented many in attendance from actually enjoying themselves, dozens upon dozens of local food vendors--including Red Hook Lobster Pound, Roberta's and Mile End--are making sure that festival-goers will not leave hungry this year. At last night's opener, the lines were reasonable, and the food was good--if often overpriced (e.g. $10 for a small bowl of crawfish pasta). Most food dishes seem to be priced between $8 and $12. For me, the two standouts were a deliciously juicy, buttery truffle burger from Umami Burger (now in NYC), and the always-stellar chicken from Dirty Bird To Go. The concession stands feature a decent selection of beer and wine, but if your tendencies run toward hydroplaning, you can purchase tickets to sample a smattering of offerings from around the globe in the beer and wine tents.

So. All of that was great. But the real reason I dragged Maura there was to--finally!--catch my favorite band in the world live and in concert. After an atmospheric, typically idiosyncratic set by the Flaming Lips (with groovy sets that couldn't be wholly appreciated before nightfall), Brooklyn's own Yeah Yeah Yeahs took the stage in front of a packed meadow. Karen O and her wailing electric guitar of a voice brought the house down with bandmates Nick Zinner, Animal from The Muppets (aka Brian Chase), and occasionally David Pajo on guitar and keys. They hit the ground running, employing the phenomenal Broadway Inspirational Voices gospel choir for the opening number, "Sacrilege"--the lead single from their latest album. For an idea of the effect, check out their performance last month on Letterman:

The whole show was pure energy, from an enormous, inflated, Flaming Lips-esque bouncing eyeball, to the moment when Karen passed the mic through the crowd for the bridge of "Cheated Hearts," and through to the super-charged encore of "Date with the Night," which concluded with the unquestionable destruction of said microphone. 

When it was all said and done, the crowd was able to disperse quickly and peacefully, much to our delight... and another reason we will return to the new-and-improved GoogaMooga, perhaps as early as tomorrow. De La Soul, here we come!

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