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Yo La Tengo Hanukkah 2023: Sun Ra Arkestra, John Early & More (Video, Setlist)

Yo La Tengo's annual Hanukkah run at Bowery Ballroom kicked off with surprise musical opener Sun Ra Arkestra and comedian John Early.

Yo La Tengo's annual eight-show Hanukkah run at Bowery Ballroom has kicked off, and it's already shaping up to be a memorable event. The surprise musical opener for the first night was the Sun Ra Arkestra, a mainstay at the Hanukkah run. Comedian John Early also took the stage to entertain the crowd.

The band opened their set with a cover of "My Little Corner of the World," and then treated fans to "Sinatra Drive Breakdown" and "Autumn Sweater." Notably, there are no repeated songs during their Hanukkah Run, so they got one of their most-loved songs out of the way early. The Sun Ra Horns joined the band for the second half of the set, which included covers of Sun Ra's "Unmask the Batman," "Dreaming," and "Nuclear War," which closed out the main set.

For the encore, they performed all-covers, bringing out The Ladybug Transistor's Gary Olson and Julia Rydholm for Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman's Elvis hit "Suspicion," as well as "(There's) Always Something There to Remind Me" by Burt Bacharach & Hal David. They also had John Early join them for a rendition of "I Have A Little Dreidel" and "Where or When" from the Rodgers & Hart musical Babes in Arms.

The night's mix CD was curated by Clay Pigeon, and WMBR's Jon Bernhardt was the post-show DJ. Additionally, proceeds from the night went to Palestinians in Gaza relief organization Anera.

The event was captured in photos by Qbertplaya, and the setlist was shared by Jesse Jarnow. Fan-shot video, including John Early's entire set, is also available for those who couldn't make it to the show.

Overall, it was a night filled with surprises, incredible music, and charitable giving, setting the stage for an unforgettable Hanukkah run at Bowery Ballroom.

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