Sonic Youth tonight. One of the first American Noise Rock bands, Sonic Youth got started in 1981. Founded by Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon, along with guitarist Lee Renaldo, they were one of the pioneers of this new genre, which evolved largely out of hardcore Punk with elements of experimental Rock and what would later become known as Grunge. Moore, Gordon and Renaldo formed the core of the band and were the original members in the midst of several personnel changes over the years.
This concert comes just ahead of their debut album, Confusion Is Sex, and this short tour set into motion a larger tour scheduled for Summer 1993. It was also clearly apparent that Sonic Youth had a more enthusiastic audience overseas than in their native New York where they were largely ignored by the press and panned by critic Robert Christgau. As in most musical movements, mainstream press were very slow to warm to the band, and it was the overwhelming support by the fans that insured their success.
After a long and successful run (from 1982 – 2011) Sonic Youth called it a day, primarily because Moore and Gordon called it quits as a couple. What they left was a rich legacy of experimentation and Alternative Rock.
A band who cited The Stooges, Wire, Patti Smith and Public Image Ltd as major influences wound up being influences for a large number of bands in the ensuing years. There was talk of a reunion in 2013, not on the parts of the band but of fans. Those hopeful rumors were quashed with Renaldo publicly announced the likelihood of Sonic Youth getting together for even a one-off show was remote at best, since Moore and Gordon weren’t on speaking terms in the wake of their breakup. Kim Gordon reiterated Renaldo’s announcement by writing in her 2015 biography, Girl In A Band that Sonic Youth that the band had split up for good.
You may have missed them the first time around, and seeing them in concert again is a distinct impossibliity, so the next best thing is this concert from Brixton Academy from December of 1992, hosted by John Peel and later broadcast on his show in January of 1993.
Crank it up and enjoy.