Seeing these downtown-dive denizens onstage at Radio City may seem fish-out-of-watery. (Best way to get Budweiser out of red velvet, anyone?) Nonetheless, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs‘ uptown move is a promotion entirely justified by the big-room theatrics of this spring’s terrific It’s Blitz!, on which Nick Zinner trades his guitar for a synth, Karen O sings more emotionally than she ever has, and Brian Chase drives the sleek electro-rock grooves like he’s auditioning to be in Chic. The hallmark of any Yeah Yeah Yeahs show has historically been its promise of catharsis through chaos; you’ll leave sweatier than you arrived, but more contentedly, too. The new songs are knottier and more complicated than the band’s old ones, and therefore offer less release. If you think that spells concession, pay attention tonight.
Wed., Sept. 23, 8 p.m., 2009