Yo La Tengo Pay Tribute to Andy Warhol at the Gershman Y

The Y is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable with the Velvet Underground and Nico.

Yo La Tengo will be at the Gershman Y on Thursday. Photo by Carlie Armstrong.

Yo La Tengo will be at the Gershman Y on Thursday. Photo by Carlie Armstrong.

Fifty years ago, in December 1966, Andy Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable tour came to the Gershman Y on Broad Street with the Velvet Underground and Nico for a two-day celebration of art and music. The poster advertising the event, which drew 3,000 guests, described it as a “mixed-media discotheque.” 

This Thursday, December 15th, Yo La Tengo are playing a tribute show at the Y, marking the anniversary of Warhol and crew’s visit. The long-lasting indie rock band come prepared: They portrayed the Velvet Underground in the 1996 movie I Shot Andy Warhol. Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips will perform, too, playing their soundtrack commissioned by the Andy Warhol Museum, 13 Most Beautiful…Songs for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests.

The concert complements the venue’s new exhibit, Underground Nights: When Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable Met The Y, up through January 4th, 2017. The show features newly discovered photos by the late Philly photographer Sam Moskovitz, who captured Warhol at the Y, along with items from Warhol’s first solo show in Philly, at the ICA in 1965, and videos, including one of the Velvet Underground and Nico rehearsing at Warhol’s studio, The Factory.

On Wednesday, music critic and author Richie Unterberger will be in from San Francisco to give a related talk at the Y, titled “Visions of the Velvet Underground.” He’ll be back on Thursday to host the concert.

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