Yeah Yeah Yeahs become first band to film a music video on top of the Empire State Building

The New York trio's video for 'Despair' will feature footage shot from the top of the iconic building

Jenn Five/NME
Photo: Jenn Five/NME
Yeah Yeah Yeahs have become the first band to ever shoot a music video on top of the iconic Empire State Building.

Taking to the top of the US landmark, the group - fronted by a recently-blonde Karen O - performed new track 'Despair' in front of a small crew of two dozen, reports The New York Times.

Setting up on the viewing deck of the building, which is situated 86 floors up, the band played through the track from 2am until just gone sunrise. The footage will feature in the video for 'Despair', which is the second single to be taken from recent LP 'Mosquito' following lead off single 'Sacrilege'.


Speaking after the filming, Karen O was in high spirits about the process, stating: "It’s definitely not just another cool day in the life of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. It was definitely an iconic moment. It’s hard to do something like that and not to feel like it’s symbolic – it’s like the American dream for us, singing your song on top of the Empire State Building, feeling like: man, where were we 10 years ago, when we were sitting around in some punk rock dive bar, thinking about what to name our band, and New York City, and now here we are at the top. It really felt dreamlike."

Antony E Malkin, President of Malkin Holdings (operator of the Empire State Building) also expressed his enthusiasm for the video concept. “The way I look at it is, why hadn’t this been done before?” he said. “Credit to them for having the gumption to ask.”

A clip of the forthcoming video is available to watch here.

Meanwhile, ahead of their Latitude performance in July, Yeah Yeah Yeahs are set to play a one-off gig at London's Islington Academy on July 15. The gig will mark the band's first appearance in the capital since they curated a day of ATP's annual I'll Be Your Mirror at Alexandra Palace.

Latitude will take place from July 19-21 at Henham Park in Southwold, Suffolk and will see headline performances from Foals, Bloc Party and Kraftwerk.

To check the availability of Yeah Yeah Yeahs tickets and get all the latest listings, go to NME.COM/TICKETS now, or call 0844 858 6765
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