I was lucky to see Sonic Youth dust off the cobwebs and blast out the disjointed, discordant riffs that formed the backbone of their seminal 1988 album Daydream Nation the other night at Brooklyn’s McCarren Park Pool. And what a sight it was: Thurston Moore jumping around the stage like a floppish marionette whose strings had been cut by the wanderlust spirit of a Haight-Ashbury refugee; Kim Gordon spinning about like a blissed-out devilish, seemingly oblivious to the sonic chaos erupting out of the imposing stack of speakers; Lee Renaldo toiling ingeniously, inserting uneasy guitar licks to undermine the poppy undertones; and Steve Shelley pounding with frenetic energy on his stripped back drum kit. It was an exceptional performance from a band who never quite fit into the big square boxes erected by the mainstream for easier consumption. Now, if only someone could convince The Chills to get back together and play Lost Words in its entirety.
Listen to Teenage Riot off the Daydream Nation album.