Staff Top 10
Top Ten Things About the Sonic Youth Show in Cleveland

ne of the best shows I've been to in a while, I felt like there were enough things about this show to warrant a Top 10. Here are the best of the best...

10. Comp Tickets
The only thing better than seeing your favorite band live is seeing them live for free. I probably should've used the money I would have spent on tickets for a t-shirt or something, but I didn't. Total cost for the evening: $7. (Parking was expensive.)

9. Back To The Odeon
I saw my first show ever at The Odeon, The Screaming Trees, in 1995. And while I haven't lived in Northeast Ohio for six years, I've never lived more than three hours outside of it either. You'd think I'd have been to at least one show at The Odeon since then. Nope. Pavement in 1997 was the last time I walked through those doors. The place is now owned by Clear Channel and a haven for acts like Kittie, Dope and any number of fake hardcore/emo bands. I won't be surprised if it's another ten years before I see a show there again.

8. White Magic
This band weren't all that exceptional, but my very low tolerance level—okay, borderline hatred—for Quixotic, left me expecting the worst. I was pleasantly surprised, when they came out mining the haunted feel of old Helium, because that’s aces in my book.

7. Super Panzner Bros.
One minute you're at a out-of-town show by yourself, the next you see your buddy who just days before told you there was no way he was going to make it. And his first-time-seeing-Sonic-Youth brother to boot.

6. (Old Man in) The Crowd
Thurston becomes officially the oldest person I've ever seen jump with his guitar into the crowd. While neither a true stage dive nor a crowd surf, Moore's hop off the stage onto the security barrier and on top of the first row or two was quite impressive.

5. "Has anyone seen Kim Gordon?"
Funny how even after twenty-plus years, you can do things as silly as start what is probably your best-known song ("Teenage Riot") without the vocalist on stage. Whoops. Nice way to work the crowd into a three-second frenzy too.

4. Show Us Your Noise
Whether it was the influence of too many nights on the road with Wolf Eyes or the fact that Hair Police had to cancel at the last minute because their van broke down in middle-of-nowhere Pennsylvania, I'm not sure. Whatever the reason, the Youth brought the noise to levels I'd yet to witness in the numerous times I've seen them the past few years. Lots of effect-tweaking, feedback & extension of songs. Quite a few even "jammed" out well beyond the ten-minute mark. Awesome.

3. "Do You Play An Instrument?"
That was the question asked by the guy who got uncomfortably close to me and lingered during White Magic's set. I replied "Laptop." which didn't seem to satisfy him. "I was just curious because my band's looking for a drummer." Uh, okay. Why on earth was he asking me? Do I look so cool that I'd be the perfect match for the band's image? Do I look like a drummer? Was he asking every single guy or person if they wanted to join his band? I'll never know. Good luck wherever you are, dude.

2. Free Massage Therapy
Ladies, there's no better way to show your gratitude when a guy lets you squeeze into that third row than to rub his chest and nipples and bat your eyelashes at him. Every dude loves it and it is by no means awkward at all.

1. Don Rickles
Thurston has been known for his on- (and off-) stage banter, sometimes making about as much sense as kosher pork rinds. It seems like nothing he says should be able to shock a long-time fan, but he still never ceases to amaze. When politics inevitably came up, and he spit out, "A vote for Don Rickles is a vote for eternity!" my eyes were once again opened. The most important thing he's said since "I want to eat a pig's head". My life will never be the same again.

By: Mike Shiflet

Log In to Post Comments
Posted 08/20/2004 - 09:24:32 AM by Noel_Diddy:
 Was it the fact that you were wearing your "Drummer Hut: Hardcore Temp Agency" T-Shirt that threw off said gentleman in point #3?
Posted 08/20/2004 - 09:33:10 AM by hutlock:
 Damn, next time you guys come up to Cleveland, please let me know. I live out here in the Stylus wilderness and it would be nice to get together with anyone passing through the area. Hell, you might even get a free meal out of me. Also, I should mention -- damn, I hate the Odeon as a venue. Worst location ever, parking does indeed suck (got my car towed from a Bunnymen show on my birthday no less a few years back), and I'm not so crazy about the whole set-up inside either. Like, what's up with the whole upstairs thing? Who do you have to know to be able to go up there? Or do I just need implants?
Posted 08/20/2004 - 02:56:45 PM by Hubajube:
 $7? Where did you park? I parked (legally!) on the street just a block up. So my friend that I haven't seen for a few years shows up at this show with his entire family and various boyfriends and girlfriends, all wearing matching homemade pink Sonic Youth T-Shirts. (Dad's said "OLDER THAN SONIC YOUTH".) When the limo (ferchrissakes) came to pick them all up afterwards, the chauffeur jumped out without putting it into park. Surreality!
Posted 08/21/2004 - 03:42:31 PM by shiflet:
 man, i hadn't been there in so long i didn't want to mess around with trying to find parking - which obviously wasn't hard had put forth even the slightest effort - and went in the rip-off lot across the street. i knew i wasn't paying anything for the show, so i didnt mind being gouged this once. i saw the pinnk crew. very funny.
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