10 Songs, 44 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Recorded one year before their final album came out, but not officially released until eight years after they disbanded, this live set feels like a belated victory-lap celebration for a legendary band that came to a quiet, unceremonious end. The setting of this particular concert perfectly crystallizes just how far Sonic Youth had come since their origins in the antagonistic early-’80s East Village No Wave scene, with the band performing before a reverential crowd of thousands at a New York City landmark on the Fourth of July. But while the show captures the indie-rock trailblazers in the midst of the 20th-anniversary campaign for their double-album masterpiece Daydream Nation (whose searing and simmering double shot of “The Wonder” and “Hyper Station” forms the show’s dizzying peak), the set is marked by wild swings between the band’s most popular material and their most obscure. The late-game airings of MTV crossover faves “Bull in the Heather” and “100%” hew to a traditional strategy of saving the hits for last, but in true contrarian fashion, Sonic Youth signs off instead with the clanging 1983 deep cut “Making the Nature Scene,” an encore for the truly hardcore.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Recorded one year before their final album came out, but not officially released until eight years after they disbanded, this live set feels like a belated victory-lap celebration for a legendary band that came to a quiet, unceremonious end. The setting of this particular concert perfectly crystallizes just how far Sonic Youth had come since their origins in the antagonistic early-’80s East Village No Wave scene, with the band performing before a reverential crowd of thousands at a New York City landmark on the Fourth of July. But while the show captures the indie-rock trailblazers in the midst of the 20th-anniversary campaign for their double-album masterpiece Daydream Nation (whose searing and simmering double shot of “The Wonder” and “Hyper Station” forms the show’s dizzying peak), the set is marked by wild swings between the band’s most popular material and their most obscure. The late-game airings of MTV crossover faves “Bull in the Heather” and “100%” hew to a traditional strategy of saving the hits for last, but in true contrarian fashion, Sonic Youth signs off instead with the clanging 1983 deep cut “Making the Nature Scene,” an encore for the truly hardcore.

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