Sonic Youth Rock New York Apple Store With "Eternal" Gems


If you hung out in New York's Soho neighborhood in the early 1980s, chances are you could've caught an early Sonic Youth performing in an avant-garde loft space. A lot has changed in the last three decades. Last night, to celebrate the release of their terrific new album The Eternal, the indie-rock heroes returned to the now-gentrified neighborhood to perform a short-but-sweet set at the Apple store.

Of course, the vibe was a little weird: Sonic Youth are more suited to performing in dingy rock clubs than in a space normally dedicated to Photoshop tutorials. During the set, bespectacled fans fiddled with their iPhones as they sat quietly in comfy, fold-out chairs. As singer-bassist-guitarist Kim Gordon quipped mid-way through the show, "It's so quiet, one would think this was a temple to technology."

Still, the overall vibe didn't detract from Sonic Youth's monster set, which mostly focused on killer new tunes like the raging "Anti-Orgasm," the propulsive "Leaky Lifeboat (For Gregory Corso)" or the hauntingly majestic "Antenna." When Sonic Youth returned for a one-song encore, they whipped out Lee Ranaldo's Daydream Nation gem "Hey Joni,” a paen to embracing the future and disdaining nostalgia. It was a fitting choice: here were four alt-rock heroes returning to their old stomping grounds, where art galleries and artists lofts have since been replaced by high-end restaurants and boutiques.

But it wasn't like Sonic Youth were bummed out by the loss of the New York they remember as a younger band. As Ranaldo sang during the track, "Forget the past — and just say yes!"