Sonic Youth at Ogden Theatre - 10/04/10
With Caldera Lakes
10.04.10 | Ogden Theatre
The thing about seeing Sonic Youth is, no matter what else is going on in the venue, the city or even the world at that very moment, there is no question the show will be staggeringly beautiful. It won't be flashy or dramatic, and it won't inappropriately drag on. A Sonic Youth show will be exactly what it is supposed to be: uniquely brilliant, appropriately understated and mind-blowing without being huge. Heavy with stunning material from last year's The Eternal, Sonic Youth dialed in an immaculate set last night to a receptive Ogden Theatre crowd.
The quintet appeared casually -- no introduction by lowered stage lights or additional music -- and after a few cool smiles and waves, "Bull in the Heather" began, Kim Gordon's sweet, breathy growl coming through from underneath a curtain of blond bangs. Stepping out from the shadow of the light for "Sacred Trickster," Gordon came to the edge of the stage, audience member's hands reaching out and heads bowing and bobbing in her honor. Thurston Moore, with his teenage kicks and shaggy hair, hung out stage left, coming forward to sing "No Way" before Gordon resurfaced for "Calming the Snake."
Then it was Lee Ranaldo's turn on vocals, which led the band into its first real bout of serious feedback during "Mote," with multiple layers of guitar and bass forming ghostly howls between airy, dissonant screeches. The five members fell into their own worlds for "Antenna" but remained cohesive within the confines of the set, Moore speaking a few words before "Schizophrenia" and "Catholic Block." He followed a brief pause in sound with a subtle and smirking dedication of "Anti-Orgasm" to the Tea Party movement, in which he and Gordon's voices punctuated each other in perfect, heated exhalations.