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Published: 2010/12/09

Yo La Tengo Closes Chanukah with The National, Nels Cline

Yo La Tengo’s Ira Kaplan and Wilco’s Nels Cline rehearse. Photo from Yo La Tengo’s official blog

Yo La Tengo closed its eight show Chanukah run at Hoboken, NJ’s Maxwell’s last night. The show opened with a surprise set from The National, who rushed home from a European tour to support the seminal group. The members of The National used Yo La Tengo’s equipment throughout the show—the band’s gear was being shipped from Europe—and brought out Yo La Tengo guitarist Ira Kaplan for the final two songs of its set, “Afraid of Everyone” and “Terrible Love.” National guitarists Aaron and Bryce Dessner seemed particularly excited to be opening one of Yo La Tengo’s Chanukah shows and even texted their father a picture of the club’s onstage menorah during soundcheck.

Yo La Tengo’s headlining set featured The Clean guitarist Hamish Kilgour onstage for most of the show, including his band’s “Whatever I Do It’s Right.” Longtime Yo La Tengo collaborators Bruce Bennett and Gil Divine also played guitar with the band during its encore. Bennett joined in on a cover of Velvet Underground’s “I Can’t Stand It Anymore” while Divine sat in on “Love Power” from the musical The Producers.

The penultimate night of Yo La Tengo’s Chanukah run also featured several notable guests. Bonnie Prince Billy & the Cairo Gang opened and joined the band onstage for Lou Reed’s “Heavenly Arms.” Wilco’s Nels Cline also played guitar with Yo La Tengo onstage throughout its entire set. Cline was the third member of Wilco to perform with Yo La Tengo during the run: Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy joined the band Friday night and Wilco keyboardist Mikael Jorgenson sat in for much of Yo La Tengo’s set Monday night.

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