A few months ago I almost bought two tickets to see Sonic Youth at CBGB's, that is, until ticketweb screwed me royally. It was not a happy day in the Angry Citizen household. Luckily, the kids from Sonic Youth thought I was wronged and decided to play two shows in Brooklyn. Thanks guys. Sonic Youth opened up night one with a blistering rendition of Incinerate, powered by Steve Shelley’s drumming. The band never slowed down from there. The Yeah Yeah Yeah's brought the crowd but Sonic Youth brought their superior musicianship. The new songs off Rather Ripped fit nicely with the rest of their catalog. Jams Run Free and Reena held their own against the old material, what little of it was played. The little that was played sounded fantastic. In particular The World Looks Red, which I was not expecting to hear. As soon as I heard the opening chords I started recording. Check out the video here. Their performance of The World Looks Red makes one wish Rather Ripped wasn't as good so more oldies could be played. As for Sonic Youth's stage presence, it's no surprise that Kim Gordon stole the show. She danced, sashayed and pirouetted around the stage without breaking her intense stare.
Thurston Moore was in peak form producing blistering waves of feedback, as well as giving shout-outs to “f’ing Brooklyn” and “Queens, the other borough.” When the band walked off the stage after their first set Lee Ronaldo looked around, put his palms to the sky as if to say “that’s it, we can’t play more?” Of course they came out for an encore but that wasn’t nearly enough on a day where they owned the stage.
On night two Sonic Youth continued to roll along. They played Teen Age Riot right off the bat, riling up the crowd, and producing one of the highlights of the weekend. Check out the Teen Age Riot video I youtubed. The set list was even more Rather Ripped heavy with the exception of Eric’s Trip and 100%. There might be a few more older songs but my memory is hazy and I don't have access to a setlist. The one song which exceeded my expectations live was Turquoise Boy. Thurston Moore hijacked the song around the three minute mark giving it more muscle.
Due to their opening band duties and curfew restrictions Sonic Youth wasn't given an opportunity to stretch out their wings and produce an epic show. Regardless, for two days Sonic Youth's mastery was clearly on display for all of Brooklyn to see.