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Old 08.07.2006, 12:20 PM   #1
Ono Soul
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Hey all! This is my first post here. I'm a long time SY fan and just saw 'em at Lollapalooza this weekend. I was hoping to win the Double Door tix but of course I didn't. So I bit the bullet and went to Lolla purely to see SY. I'm glad I did to because they were effin' AWESOME! I got right up close to the stage and took a bunch of pics. If you'd like to see the rest of 'em just shoot me an email and I'll gladly send 'em your way. As far as the review goes, keep in mind it was written not for this forum of fellow SY fans originally but for my blog readership hence the use of full names, album titles etc.... Anyway, enjoy!!

 


Lollapalooza took place once again at Grant Park this year and featured 130 acts on 8 different stages spread over 69 acres. I arrived a little after three in the afternoon, grabbed a couple beers and made a beeline to the Bud Light stage where Sonic Youth was scheduled to perform at 4:30. When I arrived at the stage I was pleasantly surprised to find a relatively sparse crowd gathered. The reason for this, as I later found out, was because Gnarls Barkley, currently riding high on the charts with their smash hit "Crazy", were due to peform on another stage at the same time, thereby splitting the crowd. I quickly planted myself as close to the stage as possible and began downing my beers as I anxiously awaited Sonic Youth's appearance and the crowd began to fill up behind me. At approximately 4:30 they hit the stage to a rousing applause. We were greeted by a red hot burst of noise from Thurston Moore's guitar. He shouted "INCINERATE" into the mic and the band launched into said song, the catchy single from their new album, "Rather Ripped". What followed was an hour's worth of earnest, achingly beautiful, gloriously ragged, downright transcendent rock n' roll. In short, typical Sonic Youth! Most of the set was comprised of selections from "Rather Ripped" along with a handful of gems from their back catalogue. Highlights of the set included the chiming guitars and bittersweet beauty of "Schizophrenia" (the opening track from 1987's "Sister" and one of my all time favorite Sonic Youth songs) and an absolutely rauccous take on "Brother James" (from 1983's "Kill Yr. Idols"). Propelled by Steve Shelley's incessant drumming the band was in fine form throughout the hour long set. As always, Kim Gordon was often the center of attention as she oozed her trademark brand of impassioned cool and sex appeal. The band was joined by ex-Pavement member Mark Ibold on bass, enabling Kim to concentrate on her lead vocals and quirky dance moves. As can be seen from my pics I was standing on Thurston's side of the stage making it kinda hard to hear Lee Ranaldo's guitar at times. He took the lead vocal for two songs, a rip roarin' rendition of "Eric's Trip" (from 1988's "Daydream Nation") which he dedicated, with tongue planted firmly in cheek, "to all you Bud Light drinkers", and his "Rather Ripped" track, "Rats". After ending the set proper with "Brother James" the band returned minus Mark Ibold for one encore, the mezmorizing "Shaking Hell" (from 1983's "Confusion Is Sex").

 
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Old 08.07.2006, 12:25 PM   #2
Pax Americana
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Thanks for the pics. Pretty good review as well. Who else did you get to see at Lolla this year?
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Old 08.07.2006, 12:34 PM   #3
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Welcome aboard, Ono Soul, and thanks for the review.
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Old 08.07.2006, 12:38 PM   #4
Ono Soul
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Well, like I said, I pretty much went purely to see SY's set and also The Flaming Lips who were playing on the same stage right after. They put on a good show, you know, with their usual oddball assortment of dancers and eye candy (in alien and Santa Claus costumes) and they led the crowd through some mass sing alongs on their big hits. In between SY and The Lips I saw (or heard) most of The Dresden Dolls set on a nearby stage. It was so so. Same with Thievery Corporation.

I originally had no intention of sticking around for Kanye West but I'm really glad I did. The crowd that gathered to see him was amongst the biggest I've ever encountered but believe it or not, it was all really good vibes. Kinda like one big party. He had an all female string section with him and they went into "Bittersweet Symphony" at one point, which I got a kick out of.

The fest was really well organized. I never once waited more than a minute or two to go to the bathroom or buy a beer. So that was pretty cool. And the crowd was really well behaved. I was expecting a bunch of meatheads and there was some of that of course, but they were all being really mellow. It was a good time!
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Old 08.08.2006, 10:50 AM   #5
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I went and had a fucking great time. This is maybe the sixth or seventh time I've seen them live and I've never seen Steve look so engaged in playing. Usually he's just sort of back there -- but you could clearly see something going on in his face. It might've been the heat, but either way, Steve was fucking hitting those drums like there was no tomorrow.

Also, this was a pretty spot-on review. I, too, was on Thurston's side of the stage. We saw him earlier during the Be Your Own Pet set. He was off on the side of the stage, holding a camcorder. He brought the same camcorder out during the SY set and asked the crowd if it'd be ok for him to put us in a home movie. We, of course, screamed like hell for him to do so.

By the way, Be Your Own Pet rocks ass. Those kids seem really pure; really all about making sweet, unadulterated, violent noise. The lead singer threw up on stage during one song, joked that she guessed it was heat exhaustion, and then burst into their last song with the same wild fury she maintained throughout the whole show. The bassist and guitarist were all over the place, practically falling apart throughout the whole show, and at least once the drummer played so wildly that he knocked over the overhead drum mic. And the music was good, man. I can see what Thurston sees in those kids. They're wild.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pax Americana
Thanks for the pics. Pretty good review as well. Who else did you get to see at Lolla this year?
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Old 08.08.2006, 01:16 PM   #6
Ono Soul
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Yeah, he was beating the shit out of those drums! Especially on "Brother James". That was pretty sick, huh? I'm a really big fan of his drumming. To me it's every bit as essential to the Sonic Youth sound as Lee and Thurston's guitars or Kim and Thurston's vocals. It just wouldn't be the same with any other drummer.... Glad you dug the review, by the way. Shoot me off an email if you'd like to see the rest of my pics. I took a whole bunch. The three I posted are probably the best of the bunch though.
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Old 08.08.2006, 02:24 PM   #7
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My pictures ended up really crappy, it was pretty depressing. But they were amazing.
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Old 08.08.2006, 02:31 PM   #8
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Nice review and photos ono soul.
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Old 08.09.2006, 04:51 PM   #9
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thanks for pics!
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