tUnE-yArDs at Celebrate Brooklyn

Last night was the end of the regular season at Celebrate Brooklyn. Willie Nelson and Old Crow Medicine Show will play next week for one of their benefit concerts, but I will be picnicking in the park outside the gates because the show is sold out. Fun, but not the same as being there, so I will not review the show. The end of the season makes me remember the beginning of my attendance at Celebrate Brooklyn events. I had moved to Brooklyn from Manhattan in 1995 and my social life was still focused on the city. I was, sadly, not very aware of the cultural offerings in my own backyard. One summer evening in 1997 I was walking in the park and stumbled upon Spaulding Gray onstage, interviewing hand-picked members of the audience. It was a magical, intimate evening and I have been hooked on Celebrate Brooklyn ever since.

Fast forward to last night and the rousing show put on by the members of tUnE-yArDs! I almost didn’t attend because I knew how crowded it would be (and I was right — it was packed.) I don’t love the crowds and long lines, but I sure did love the performance. It was fun to see people of all ages grooving to the careening beats and off-the-wall vocals of Merrill Garbus. Merrill actually landed on my radar when I heard her in a performance with Roomful of Teeth. I was wowed by her vocal dexterity and it’s a thrill to hear her perform as tUnE-yArDs. I felt badly for Shabazz Palaces who started the show. From where I sat, the sound seemed very off. That said, I can see why they are so popular. And as for Celebrate Brooklyn, I can’t wait to see what they cook up for the 2016 season!

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