Sonic Youth and Wolf Eyes

So the Lollapalooza tour met its long-overdue demise before it even got off the ground this summer, but it could not deter planned headliner Sonic Youth from heading out on their own, which, for most Sonic Youth fans, was probably a better way to have it anyway. The only catch: $25 freakin’ bucks a pop.

First off, Wolf Eyes has got to be one of the shittiest bands on the planet. A gargantuan flatulent blast from the very bowels of hell would sound better than these guys. Wolf Eyes’ brand of screeching, distorted vocals set to grating machine noise was neither music nor art, and for as noisy as Sonic Youth can get, it was not in keeping with the overall feel of the show. A large portion of the sold out crowd herded down to Lola’s room to suck down some overpriced beer for the majority of their (thankfully short) set.

Luckily, Sonic Youth was soon on in all of their graying-haired glory to save the night. That $25 bucks started to feel more well-spent by the minute. The band stuck to mostly newer material, drawing largely from 2002’s Murray Street and this year’s Sonic Nurse, but damn, did they rock it. The aging Youth put everything they had into it, creating tense but beautiful walls of noise that would occasionally collapse into swirls of pulsating feedback and screaming distortion.

The band played for almost two hours despite the oppressive, humid heat, stench of sweat that developed over the set, dipping into some older material at the end of the night. The flashing multi-color cube lights that they had on stage were cool, too.