Filed under: Music | Tags: brooklyn, free show, mccarren park pool, mccarren pool, pool party, silver rocket, Sonic Youth, williamsburg
Sure, it’s been a couple of days since it happened but I thought I’d let you know: Brooklyn’s McCarren Park Pool held its final performance on August 30th with none other than Sonic Youth. Let me tell you, these New Yorkers know how to go out with a bang. The event was packed and cost around $30-$40 a pop! Now I love Sonic Youth, but financially adjusting from Orlando to New York doesn’t leave room in your budget for concert tickets. I soon learned that New York has many ways around paying for great shows, especially if they are held outdoors.
Initially Christian BC and I were heading for a patch of grass outside the venue as we heard the beginning chords of “The Sprawl” blaring across the park. Kim Gordon’s voice floated eerily across the park. The music seemed as if it were audible to only ourselves. This park was packed full of people playing in the soccer fields, running around the track, having barbeques; but they appeared completely oblivious to the sounds echoing off the buildings around them. It only enhanced my disbelief that I was about to see Sonic Youth.
Christian suggested we check out a better listening post, which led us to a playground around the corner. Venturing further into the brush behind a giant stone turtle, we stumbled upon a huddle of people. The screens blocking the fence surrounding the venue had been torn away revealing a near-perfect view of the stage. Despite the occasional wafts of dog shit, the location couldn’t have been better. I felt as though I’d traveled back in time. Even with our distance from the crowd, we could feel its sensation of being carried away by the layers of sound pulsing from the speakers. Kim, Lee, and Thurston (we could see them best) were as energetic as they would’ve been 15 years ago. I mean, these guys are old enough to be our parents and they were slamming their guitars and jumping around like it was 1989.
The first half of the show consisted of material from Daydream Nation and Sister, but they supplied a diverse second portion. The sound was extraordinarily crisp and tight. Most artists’ voices and technique noticeably diminish with age, but not Sonic Youth. After 2 encores, I was still in shock that I’d seen these guys for free. Welcome to New York.
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