Saturday, June 20, 2009

Sonic Youth - Live Feb 26 1991 Hershey PA

With the release of the surprisingly good new Sonic Youth album The Eternal, (plus re-reading old issues of Conflict) I was going back and listening to some live SY that I have accumulated over the years as well as some recent live shows popping up on the dimeadozen torrent site. Always the jammiest of the class of '88 (or '81, even), it doesn't surprise that they are still a great live band and all that jazz, with variable set lists and songs taking on different personalities live, etc. Plus Lee is a Deadhead. Since they are such a live band and such, it is also not shocking they have a gigoraphy on their site and that there is a lossless live SY archive online.

While I was searching in vain for the Washington DC 9.30 Club show from Dec 1988 (yep, the 'cid one... if anyone has a recording please get in touch), I remembered that tour they did with Neil Young & Crazy Horse and Social Distortion. I honestly can't remember the deal, but I was at school in Philly at the time but came back to Central PA for this show and went with a friend of a friend whose name I cannot recall. Alas there was no wild and crazy mild alternatingness (at least for me) at this one. We had seats in the stands, (this was a concert! in the old Hershey Bears Arena), sitting down to watch Sonic Youth. So bizarre. In Hershey. Anyways, most of my Philly pals caught the the show in Philly, but this one sorta stood out because of the super hostile audience reaction. As the archive site says "A relatively short set, due to extended booing from the crowd." And that was pretty much the case. SY bummed out central PA... My fave memory of the show was the end of "Expressway To Your Skull" with only Lee remaining on stage leaning on his guitar making some huge ocean feedback drone to the chorus of angry "booooos." Also, Thurston's shout out to "the Hershey hardcore scene" and ensuing laugh on the tape is great as well. I thought the show was pretty awesome for what it was and where it was (just hearing "Flower" in this setting was amazing by itself), though the ice rink sound def was bassy/bouncy/echo'y. Crazy Horse sounded better and were a super wall of fuzzed out bleakness, even with that awful "Blowin' in the Wind" cover.

I got a recording of the show from Jack Chiara who used to run the Record Outlet in Hburg, Stump Wizards, etc, but I am not sure if he recorded it or who did or how many generations or any of that stuff. I burned this to CD a few years ago and it doesn't seem to be in circulation in the trading circles, so here you go. A pretty thick sounding audience recording, I didn't do any clean up or anything like that, download is 256kps. The "Only Just Begun" and "War Pigs" are just tapes, so don't get your hopes up on that.

Sonic Youth Live Feb 26 1991 Hershey, PA

1. (only just begun intro)
2. White Kross
3. Brother James
4. Mote
5. Flower
6. Dirty Boots
7. (war pigs break)
8. Titanium Expose
9. Kool Thing
10. Expressway To Your Skull

UPDATE: Thanks to Chris in the comments for hipping me to the fact that this show was Feb 26th, not the 27th. Ooooops!

UPDATE II: FLAC by request


Rusty said...

Sweet. Thanks for that!

Hershey, especially that old arena... Oh, man, I saw a Lynyrd Skynyrd reunion thing there and Aerosmith there, and the opening bands always got boo'ed. Central PA is no place to see a band.

nicepooperzine said...

I seem to recall Russ Fry Jr. being super excited about an Aerosmith/Alice Cooper show there... is that even possible? Oh Hershey...

Stepan said...


any chance of lossless version for this one?
i can host it on my own server. more info here:


nicepooperzine said...

Hi Stepan, yes, I will upload a lossless version to your site, thanks for the instructions. that said, I have no idea on how many generations my tape is, how it was recorded and such. Ya know, that anal stuff that they go apeshit for on dimeadozen. Thanks!

Chris said...

Date should be Feb 26 1991, before you upload the lossless. ;)

Thanks so much for this!!!