Indie rockers Yo La Tengo were onto something when they named their latest album, This Stupid World. The “For You Too” musicians aren’t afraid to remind lawmakers and politicians every chance they get, with their current North American tour being the outlet. Yesterday (March 13), while performing in Nashville, the band seemingly used their set to silently protest the state’s recent anti-drag legislation.
The laws in question are Senate Bill 3 and House Bill 9. Both of which ban all drag performances from taking place on any public property in the state. Later this month, musical acts like Hayley Williams, Jason Isbell, Maren Morris, and more will take part in a benefit concert to raise money for LGBTQIA+ organizations in the state.
However, considering their lengthy tour schedule, Yo La Tengo appear to be showing their support for drag performers in another way. Following an intermission, band members Ira Kaplan and James McNew returned to the stage in a noticeable wardrobe change. Kaplan changed into a sleeveless red dress sporting a long black wig to match. McNew, on the other hand, added a shawl and a sun hat to his existing outfit. Although they didn’t specifically address the ban, concertgoers to took to Twitter to applaud their actions as they shared images of the band onstage.
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
Ira and James playing in drag yesterday in Tennessee, in response to the anti-drag bill that passed just some weeks ago.
Yo La Tengo for president, someone said at Yellowjackets, and I agree.
[Photo by Chris Conrad, via FB] pic.twitter.com/Za6LTr2Jie
— Ethel Baraona Pohl (@ethel_baraona) March 14, 2023
Unlike the other band members, drummer Georgia Hubley didn’t make changes to their outfit, a detail also noticed by fans.