Yesterday, Sonic Youth played Uruguay for the first time in their three-decade career. The legendary New Yorkers headlined the second night of Primavera 0, a new music festival that’s brought many international acts to the country for the very first time. Just last week Beady Eye made a great Uruguayan debut, setting the opening night of the festival ablaze along with Uruguayan rockers Astroboy.
And yesterday, it was Sonic Youth’s turn to play to a Uruguayan audience for the first time. The crowd was decidedly different this time around, with much older folks in attendance. The show itself started too early (7 PM on a weekday) so I wasn’t surprised that the venue was half-empty when it all began. The Teatro de Verano became slowly crowded as the two openers played their sets.
Argentinean band “Banda de Turistas” played tightly and with determination, while Uruguayan alt rockers “La Hermana Menor” ran through a set that had the audience captivated for most of its duration. They lost it towards the end, with most people where I was criticizing the slow songs they used to close their performance. And it didn’t help that some idiot in the audience kept shouting insults at them whenever the music stopped.
Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon, Lee Ranaldo, Steve Shelley and Mark Ibold came onstage at 10:00 PM. Sonic Youth played a set that included highlights from all over its career, but (as it was only suitable) the emphasis was put on the band’s older compositions. They included songs from the closest they came to a commercial peak such as “Teen Age Riot” (from the Daydream Nation album, their major label debut from 1988) and newest cuts like “Sacred Trickster” and “What We Know”. Both kind of compositions were received rapturously, and the band did all their trademark tricks. Although they used no water bottles, screwdrivers found their way in and out of their guitars, and strident passages were used to interconnect different songs. Continue reading