I’m there currently on tour (grab tickets HERE) in support of their latest album, This Crazy Worldand during their latest stop in Nashville, band members Ira Kaplan and James McNew performed in drag in apparent protest of a recently passed Tennessee law banning public drag shows.
Kaplan and McNew returned to the stage after a short intermission in drag for their second set on Monday, March 13. Kaplan wore a sleeveless red dress and a long black wig, while McNew added a shawl and sun hat to her ensemble. Drummer Georgia Hubley didn’t change clothes.
According to The Tennessee, the band did not clearly acknowledge the new law, which will take effect on April 1st. The legislation prohibits drag shows and other “adult cabaret” performances on public property and other places where they can be viewed by minors (It should be noted that this is an 18 and over performance at The Basement East). However, their purpose seems pretty clear. Check out fan-shot photos of Yo La Tengo in drag below.
A few weeks ago, Bonnaroo issued a statement clearly responding to the Tennessee drag ban. “Bonnaroo has and always will be a place for inclusivity, a safe haven for people of all walks of life, and a champion of self-expression,” the festival said. “Rest assured that the Farm will remain a sanctuary for freedoms and Bonnaroovians will see no changes to the festival’s programming or celebration of self-expression.”
Yo La Tengo’s tour continues tonight with a second show at The Basement East before heading to Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Chicago, and more. After that, the indie rock trio will head out on the UK and Europe leg of the trek. Tickets are now available via StubHubwhere orders are 100% guaranteed through Stubhub’s FanProtect program.
Ira and James played drag yesterday in Tennessee, in response to the anti-drag bill that passed a few weeks ago.
Yo La Tengo for president, someone said to the Yellowjackets, and I agree.
[Photo by Chris Conrad, via FB] pic.twitter.com/Za6LTr2Jie
— Ethel Baraona Pohl (@ethel_baraona) March 14, 2023
yo la tengo protesting anti-drag laws tonight in tennessee, courtesy @JohnQBoxler. pic.twitter.com/kB6IvqUeZX
— jesse jarnow (parody, I think?) (@bourgwick) March 14, 2023