7/20/07, Los Angeles: Daydream Nation, first released in 1988, always seemed destined for icon status, and is often celebrated as one of the great albums of the 1980s, and usually mentioned early on in recaps of American post-punk.
Continuing the trend set by All Tomorrow's Parties' Don't Look Back series, Sonic Youth played Daydream all the way through on Friday at the Greek Theatre in Hollywood (following similar performances in Chicago and London), and for a few hours, the band recaptured the zeitgeist surrounding the album's original time period. Stripping down to a quartet again (with new bassist Mark Ibold waiting in the wings), the band played the double-album straight ahead with few frills, and little stage banter. Guitarist Lee Ranaldo seemed to be the driving force behind the night's production, whether singing his tracks or slowly destroying his small army of guitars. The songs themselves sound as fresh as ever, awash in feedback and also threatening to spin out of control, but still laced with unforgettable melodies.
Strangely enough, the band seemed to be having more fun during the encore, when Ibold joined them for a handful of songs off their latest disc, Rather Ripped. His presence allowed Kim Gordon to ditch her bass and get some infectious dancing in. In fact, they were having such a blast, they ought to think about playing that album in its entirety as well. Or how about all of them? In a row. In my apartment.