Sonic Youth, a band with 15 studio albums, has made eleven show recordings, (available on Bandcamp) ranging from the late ’80s (City Gardens 1987, CBGB’s and Cabaret Metro 1988, Moscow 1989) to mid and late ’90s (The Warfield 1993, Los Angeles 1998), to the 2000s (L’Olympia 2001, Cabaret Metro Chicago 2002, The Orange Peel 2004, Daydream Nation Live in Glasgow 2007, Berlin 2009), wrapping up with the band’s final US show, in Brooklyn in 2011.
Lee Ranaldo writes, “Aside from 5 previously scheduled shows in South America in November of 2011, this was the last Sonic Youth show. The last one in the USA, anyway. We were joined by opening acts Wild Flag and Kurt Vile, both of whom played terrific sets on this day. The stage was facing the East River from the Williamsburg, Brooklyn waterfront, and I recall the sun going down in the west during our set. It was a pretty magical, if kinda weird day. Fitting, somehow, that our ‘last show’ should be in New York City, our home and where it all began.”
Sonic Youth has not only produced 15 studio albums, but developed seven extended plays, three compilation albums, seven video releases, 21 singles, 46 music videos, nine releases in the Sonic Youth Recordings series, eight official bootlegs, and contributions to 16 soundtracks and other compilations.
In 1981, Sonic Youth signed with Neutral Records, and released its eponymous debut E, Sonic Youth the next year. The band’s first full-length album was Confusion is Sex, released in 1983. Kill Yr Idols was released the same year under the German label Zensor Records. Bad Moon Rising was released two years later on Blast First, a label created specifically for Sonic Youth releases. In 1986, Sonic Youth signed to SST Records and released EVOL later the same year. The album gained the band increasing critical acclaim and exposure, and the group released Sister and the double LP Daydream Nation in 1987 and 1988, respectively, the latter on Enigma Records.
In 1990, the band signed to major label DGC Records, and released Goo the same year. The band’s 1991 tour with the then little-known band Nirvana was documented in the film 1991: The Year Punk Broke. In 1992, Sonic Youth released Dirty. Two years later, the group released Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star, and Washing Machine the following year.