Sonic Youth: Live in Brooklyn 2011 (Silver Current) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Wednesday, December 6th, 2023  

Sonic Youth

Live in Brooklyn 2011

Silver Current

Nov 13, 2023 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Live in Brooklyn 2011 makes its debut as a physical release after its first appearance as part of a bunch of live recordings that appeared on Sonic Youth’s Bandcamp page. That would be a fairly inauspicious way to document the final U.S. show performed by one of America’s most important and influential bands. Fortunately, the Silver Current label has righted that wrong and now people that like to actually hold music in their hands can get the recording on vinyl and CD.

Did the band know that this was going to be the last throw of the dice? Probably, as the 17-song set neatly covers the bands 30 year run as the archetypal U.S. alt rock guitar band. Fans will argue for months about the tracklisting, bemoaning the lack of this, that or the other, but what is on Live in Brooklyn 2011 is all pretty great. And for a band that seems to get pushed into the avant garde corner by all and sundry there are plenty of tunes scattered throughout the record. Some you can dance to. Some you can’t, but it would be fun to try.

1988’s Daydream Nation yields the aural throat punch of “Eric’s Trip” and it still sounds as thrilling as it did when Reagan was in power. Elsewhere you get golden oldies in the shape of “Flower” and “Death Valley 69,” which rub against their rather unlikely UK Top 30 single “Sugar Kane.” In other words, if you like your Sonic Youth noisy and unfettered or slightly more refined, it’s all here.

Live in Brooklyn 2011 is a great swansong with the bandmembers dragging all their pent up feelings of frustration, loathing, and distrust with each other onto the stage and playfully tearing it all to shreds. The band did a handful of festivals in South America a few months later, but by then, the band was spent. At just the right time, they caught lightning in a bottle, and here it is. (

Author rating: 8/10

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