Yoko Ono Plastic Band
The Fox Theater
Tuesday, Feb. 23 2010
Better than: Playing The Beatles: Rock Band
When I told friends and Facebook contacts that I'd be seeing Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band during Noise Pop, the reactions were split down the middle. Half the responses were incredulous. You'd pay money to see her? The other half was excited, and dare I say it – a little jealous? But this is to be expected with Ono, whose artistic efforts have always had a galvanizing affect.
On the anti side we have those who believe Ono was a band-ruining usurper, an untalented hanger-on who slithered her way into John Lennon's loins and broke up the world's favorite rock band.
And then there are those of us on Team Ono, who see her work as groundbreaking and appreciate her uniquely oddball composing talents, her avant-garde musical style, her forward-thinking feminist songs, experimental films, and performance art.
Whatever your opinion is, you've got to admit–the spry 77-year-old has charisma.
Local favorites Deerhoof, who opened Ono's show at the Fox Theater last night, know a thing or two about charisma as well. Bounding on stage in a poppy blue tent dress, Satomi Matsuzaki loudly called out, “Pan-da, pan-da, pan-da, pan-da,” the first strains of the song off Apple O.
Deerhoof followed with tracks off Milk Man and its latest, Offend Maggie. The band also covered both the Ramones' “Gabba Gabba Hey” and “Going Up Country” by Canned Heat.
Though Matsuzaki and crew were working it overtime — jumping and thrashing to each disparate chord — the Fox Theater seemed too big for their typically intimate set-up. The expert guitar riffs were drowned out by vocals and excess stage space. Barring venue size issues, though, it was clear why Deerhoof was chosen to open for Ono. The group's spontaneous and edgy style mirrors the headliner's.
As last night was Ono's first Bay Area show in over 14 years, there were some pretty high expectations mumbling about in the crowd. The anticipation was palpable. [page]