Monday, October 26, 2009

Sonic Youth rocks War Memorial

Published: July 15, 2009:

Last night was everything but an "Anti-Orgasm" for Sonic Youth and its fans in the fully packed War Memorial Auditorium.

The tour is to celebrate the release of the band's new album "The Eternal," which was released on June 9.

Fans oozed in from all corners of the world, including a first time listener, 21-year-old Rickard Alden, who flew in all the way from Sweden with a few of his friends.

Alden says he did not regret his pricey round-trip plane ticket when the lights exploded in time with the first song on the set list and one of the band's many hits since its official formation back in 1982 called "Sacred Trickster." Appropriately named, this song was considered sacred to many avid fans, including Maria Lones from Union City.

"Its kind of like getting saved for non-religious people," Lones says.

Lones wasn't the only one who felt that way about the show, though. By the sixth piece, "Antennae", the fans continued their own form of worship when lead guitarist, Thurston Moore, broke down on his knees while playing, as if to brace himself from the rhythmic chaos that poured from his super-cool green guitar.

"This is a song about letting go of celebrity," Sonic Youth bassist Kim Gordon says to open up the emotionally epic song to follow called, "Malibu Gas Station."

Her guitar screamed harmonic riffs and the band supported her sexy vocals with its synchronized "Woo-Hoo's."

The crowd expressed appreciation, but became entranced when the band held everyone in suspense in preparation for the highly anticipated song, "Sprawl." Nick Daggs from Nashville mentioned that this song was the reason why he showed up to see his favorite band play for the 11th time.

The euphoric song "Anti-Orgasm" was next on the set list and sounded almost scientific. Drummer Steve Shelley played with padded mallets and showcased his talent.

The vintage-style opera house captured every sound, causing even the fans in the nosebleed section to feel the steady pulse of the drumbeats in their chest.

A break came by the 12th song called, "Massage History." The lights dimmed blue and Thurston grabbed a stool and his acoustic guitar, ready to serenade the awaiting sea of people, including Joshua Kramer of Louisville, Ky.

"I've been a fan since the summer of '95," Kramer says.

Kramer brought his 16-year-old son who just played in his own first concert, which featured acoustic Sonic Youth songs.

The band continued on to play two more songs, "White Cross" and "Shadow," and then exited the stage, leaving the crowd begging for an encore.

A hell of an encore is what the band gave too, playing two extended songs including "What We Know" and "Death Valley '69."

"It was amazing," says Ryan Bush from Nashville. "They played songs I wasn't expecting and I loved it."

Bush says he has seen Sonic Youth a total of six times in 17 years.

No matter how far fans had to travel to see the show, the majority of them walked away from the War Memorial Auditorium with the memories of an amazing show.

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