Every time I see Sonic Youth, I’m left wondering the same thing: how are they still one of the most compelling bands to see live?
After all these years, they haven’t lost that amazing energy, interesting sound, or perfectly in sync dynamic. After each album, their fans become more devoted. Sonic Youth do what they want but they also know what we like and they rarely disappoint us.
All that bias aside, it was an incredible set, almost exclusively filled with 80’s classics.
Since their tour for The Eternal wrapped up in the Spring, it felt like this show was a gift to their fans. The set consisted mostly of songs off Daydream Nation (7 total!) and Sister, a couple from EVOL and Confusion is Sex/Kill yr. Idols, and one (Mote) from Goo thrown in for good measure.
This was an especially amazing set for a fan who has never seen the band and even for someone like me who has seen them nearly 10 times, it was exciting to watch. This time I only got one song (Expressway To Yr Skull) I had never seen them perform, but still enjoyed every minute of it.
Toward the middle of their set, the crowd went crazy with cell phone (and various other types) photography and it reminded me of something Ian Mackaye said a few years ago about being in the moment at a concert. He doesn’t allow filming (and often times even photography) at his performances because he feels that you’re not experiencing the show with everyone else. I’ve personally never been that into concert photography for that very reason.
Although It’s a lot of fun to capture certain moments at shows and I do it from time to time, I would rather focus on the experience and be fully present, rather than focus on getting a good shot or filming a song.
There are a lot of pros and cons to the Youtube era because we can watch clips from concerts we weren’t able to attend, but on the other hand, people have become way too obsessed with documenting everything in existence.
We’ve become more and more focused on show & tell and I feel that it can take away from being in the moment and truly experiencing what’s going on around you. Clearly (or I wouldn’t have this blog), I’m all for remembering an experience and documenting an event, but I think people should tone it down a bit and spend more time actually watching a show, rather than snapping away on their phones or cameras throughout an entire set.