They played Daydream Nation. It was fantastic. Here’s a bunch of people around the age of 50, playing an album that’s nearly 20 years old, and they still sound fresher, more vital, more now than any of the charlatans that pass for ‘alternative’ rock these days. I can’t remember the last time I went to a concert that gave me that teenage feeling of wanting to be in a rock band, but that’s how I felt last night.
Which is pretty good considering I went to another fantastic show the night before, and, frankly, I’m getting to the age now where two concerts on consecutive nights is a bit much. That was another playing-an-album concert: Lou Reed doing Berlin. Really, how could I not go to that? It was very very good, especially “Sad Song”. Definitely worth seeing if he’s coming to your town.
Last week I travelled to Brussels to see Brian Wilson play on his 65th birthday, and it was kinda shitty. More than likely, it was mainly due to me being a bit snobby and geeky about The Beach Boys’ music, cos the four people I went with all loved it. But for me this show seemed way too packed with the surfin’ and cars songs – all fine songs, of course – but, really, the joy of going to previous Brian Wilson shows was hearing the beautifully complex arrangements of Pet Sounds and Smile, not being stood next to a bunch of middle-aged folks grooving along to “Do You Wanna Dance?”
If that’s what I want, I can go and see one of the crappy Mike Love/Bruce Johnston Beach Boys shows. Maybe I’m just expecting too much, though; wanting to hear the songs that made Brian great, not just the songs that made him rich.
Still, Sonic Youth… they fucking rocked.
Here’s three examples of why I should really leave my camera at home, and free up some pocket space the next time I go to see a concert (top to bottom – SY, Lou, Brian):