There I was sitting in the park, eating Thai food with my girlfriend, and my kitten who I kept close using a leash. The poisonous fumes of the bed bug extermination process kept us outdoors, and the fine sound of Sonic Youth running through their sound check kept us company. The guitars of “Incinerate” overcame a tough battle against a car blaring Latin dance music.
Later Saturday night, I arrived to McCarren Pool at the time Ticketmaster listed as start time, 7:30pm. Poor organization tossed me around from a guest list line, to a photo pass line around the back of the building at a table where no one was working, and then finally back to the front to enter. On Sundays it’s much simpler with a press entrance in the back, and no walking back and forth. Upon entering the massive space, I noticed it wasn’t as insanely packed as I expected. After only waiting a few minutes, Sonic Youth took the stage, and that’s when I realized that I had somehow missed The Slits. I hate you, Ticketmaster. But how could I possibly complain when I got to see Sonic Youth play one of the best albums of all time, in full. There is no question that Daydream Nation, which Thurston Moore said was written in a room the size of his amplifier, is one of the most influential records in rock history. The Library of Congress has even added it to its National Recording Registry. Nearly 20 years after its initial release Daydream Nation still sounds as fresh and innovative as it did in 1988, and Sonic Youth’s live performance of their landmark album left nothing to be desired. Played by the original lineup, every song sounded even bigger and better than on record. From opening note of “Teen Age Riot” to the final note of “Eliminator Jr.,” New York’s greatest band shined brightly. Mark Ibold joined the band for their encore as the tore through some of the best songs from their latest release Rather Ripped.
Photos courtesy of Jonny-Leather