Yoko Ono, age 77, assembled the new Plastic Ono Band (composed of Cornelius, Yuka Honda of Cibo Matto, and son Sean Lennon) for a psychedelic jam fest and trip down nostalgia lane at the historic Fox Theatre in downtown Oakland, California. The band was headlining Noise Pop, the independent music festival which invaded Bay Area venues with hoards of lesser-known indie rock troupes and experimental electro pop bands for a little over a week. Following a projection of crows flying out of Ono’s mouth (accompanied by a chorus of chirping sounds fluttering throughout the theatre), a video reel highlighted Ono’s lifetime of successes—including footage from earlier video works and the dedication of Strawberry Fields in New York’s Central Park. Dressed in a white cap, customary dark shades, and a black track suit Ono launched into an amped up version of “Waiting for the D Train” from 2009’s Between My Head and the Sky. What followed was as much a showcase of the new super group’s collective talents as a tour of past Ono musical highlights. The crowd of almost 3,000 sang along to an encore performance of “Give Peace a Chance” while flashing the message “I Love You” using free onochords (tiny flashlights) to close out the night.
Earlier, opening act Deerhoof, a band that’s gained fame through repeated play on college radio, failed to make a big impression on the crowd of aging flower children, who slowly crept into the theatre during their set.
Photos by Misha Vladimirskiy
Photo by Mary Danzer