Review and Photos by Camille Germain
"This is the first time we’ve played here in ten years. We take our fucking time!" Karen O told the crowd during their sold-out performance to the lawns of Marymoor Amphitheater in Redmond, Washington. It was not lost on the fans that ten years is a long time to go without touring, and they were nothing but appreciative. The air sparked with excitement and joy as the audience inched closer to the stage in anticipation of the night’s headline act. And that energy lasted the entire night.
Perfume Genius lit the stage up with his raw and emotive energy. Every move seemed intentional yet interpretive as he danced from one side to the other. It was clear that he was moved by the feelings evoked during each song. Playing with a full backing band, Seattle native Mike Hadreas (a.k.a. Perfume Genius) started the night off in style.
He put the crowd in an uproar of cheers as the first few beats hit the speakers with his opening electric, "Your Body Changes Everything," off of his 2020 album Set My Heart On Fire Immediately. Perfume Genius performed songs from across his discography, including hits like "On the Floor," "Slip Away," and "Queen." During the set, he slowly wrapped himself in long tulle fabric, creating a scene where he was almost completely enveloped. It felt as though he became one with his music by how freely he moved, making his raw performance nothing but authentic. Despite only joining the Yeah Yeah Yeahs for the last five shows of their summer run, Perfume Genius was truly memorable and a crowd favorite.
What a performance to catch! The Yeah Yeah Yeahs seemed fresh and thrilled to be playing in front of thousands again. The band started off their set by welcoming Perfume Genius to perform "Spitting Off the Edge of the World," which he accompanied on the recorded version for their 2022 album, Cool It Down. They continued the night by delivering hit after hit, showcasing songs from multiple albums. They included an interactive "Zero," where two oversized inflatable eyeballs were launched into the audience to bounce around, which put the park into a frenzy as they jumped to volley an eyeball any chance they got.
Their hits continued with songs like "Sacrilege," "Gold Lion," "Heads Will Roll," and "Maps," where Karen O told the crowd, "‘Maps’ is the Yeah Yeah Yeahs love song, L. O. V. E." Karen O was where she has always meant to be: on stage, singing her heart out. Throughout the night, she locked eyes with the audience and almost never stopped smiling. She delivered her signature water spit during "Spitting Off the Edge of the World'' and wore a unique ensemble, which included a rainbow-striped one piece over leather pants and a metallic headpiece shaped like an alternative version of the Statue of Liberty’s crown. She exuded a powerful stage presence that locked you in and left you wanting more.
Perfume Genius and Yeah Yeah Yeahs are both wonderfully chaotic, which made for the perfect concert bill. This was a performance where joy took over the artists and audience, with smiles spreading quickly throughout. If you’re looking for the next bucket list show, make sure the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are on it!
Yeah Yeah Yeahs