Sonic Youth, c/o Clarissa Roudabush
Sigh! Last night it happened — the concluding McCarren Pool concert. A venue that’s been short-lived and yet extraordinarily popular, providing the alt masses with live music, outdoor film screenings, theater, even dodgeball and slip and slide opportunities is dying a sad death this year.
Fortunately, this final show was far more invigorating than depressing. The 3-hour long opening lineup kicked off with the smiling and cheerful trio Vivian Girls — who are playing at a variety of NYC venues soon, including Death By Audio on the 2nd. Ohio’s Times New Viking provided additional lively attitude as the beach ball tossing commenced, interacting talkatively with the audience and joking with each other. The final opening act, Wolf Eyes (from Detroit) added a degree of darkness and aggression to the evening, with their avante noise and lo-fi sound.
Sonic Youth finally took the stage at dark, and they played some of their best tracks from the past three decades, taking from EVOL to Daydream Nation to newer material. Favorites like ‚”Disappearer,” ‚”The Sprawl” and ‚”Hey Joni” were crowd-pleasers, and more obscure songs like ‚”Making the Nature Scene” and the closer ‚”Expressway to Yr Skull” revealed the depth of this group’s catalogue and longstanding talent. Dancing, smiling, and resplendent throughout, the band (with Pavement’s Mark Ibold helping out on bass) seemed to be having as much fun as the audience.
The evening couldn’t have been more appropriate in terms of bridging together the past and future of NYC’s independent music legacy, and even if we might be bummed out that summer of 2009 won’t involve concrete sessions in the pool, at least, in the words of Thurston Moore, ‚”next year we’ll all be swimming like fish.”
Times New Viking
All photos by Clarissa Roudabush