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The Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Cosmo pool return never quite feels magical

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Karen O shows off her fashion sense at the Cosmopolitan’s Boulevard Pool.
Photo: Denise Truscello/WireImage

Three stars

Yeah Yeah Yeahs August 19, Cosmopolitan's Boulevard Pool

After going seven years between Las Vegas tour stops, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have suddenly dropped by three times in four years, including twice in the past four months. Just don’t take that as a definitive sign the New York indie trio’s fanbase here has ballooned significantly. Monday night’s Cosmopolitan crowd appeared far less populated by locals than visitors in town for the Magic clothing tradeshow.

By and large, that fashion-focused throng seemed only peripherally interested in the stage work by singer Karen O, guitarist Nick Zinner and drummer Brian Chase (along with touring multi-instrumentalist David Pajo), evident by a general passivity along the pool deck. The band’s famously frisky frontwoman pogoed during “Heads Will Roll,” circled her mic overhead during “Cheated Hearts” and spat her drink in the air and unleashed confetti with her foot during, well, about every other song, but that energy went largely unreturned. Add in suspect sound that left vocals and Zinner’s guitar—which absolutely soared at Coachella—notably undermixed, and Monday’s show never had much chance of elevating past so-so status.

The 70-minute set featured 14 songs, just like April’s show at the same spot, but this time leaned more heavily on latest album Mosquito (five songs, including back-to-back ballads “Subway” and “Despair”) and 2003 first full-length Fever to Tell (four, including “Black Tongue” and “Pin,” both unplayed at the previous Cosmo show). “Pin,” the night’s most intense and impactful number, paired with the bouncy “Heads Will Roll” to end the main set memorably before the Yeah Yeah Yeahs returned to encore with beloved ballad “Maps” and “Date With the Night.” If you missed it, chances seem good you won’t have to wait seven years to catch the band here again, though don’t be surprised if you’re surrounded by a sea of unfamiliar faces.

Setlist:

“Sacrilege”

“Black Tongue”

“Mosquito”

“Under the Earth”

“Cheated Hearts”

“Soft Shock”

“Subway”

“Despair”

“Zero”

“Gold Lion”

“Pin”

“Heads Will Roll”

Encore:

“Maps”

“Date With the Night”

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Spencer Patterson

Spencer Patterson is Las Vegas Weekly's Managing Editor, having previously served as Arts & Entertainment Editor, Music Editor and a ...

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