Since the early days of Sonic Youth in the 80s all the way up to Saturday night at Hopscotch, Kim Gordon has always made you feel like you were in the coolest scene when observing her performance. Even in City Plaza being soaked in torrential downpour I felt like I was witnessing something that every music lover should see.
I think obviously from how I’m writing so far you can tell I am a huge Sonic Youth fan. After watching multiple videos from their performances throughout the years, I still felt like I was witnessing some of their magic in Kim’s performance whether that be the poetic vocals from her, or the mind blowing guitar playing from her and her backup band.
Her backup band consisted of bassist Camilla Charlesworth, guitarist Sarah Register, and drummer Madi Vogt. All of which seemed to be younger than 25 years old and were better than most seasoned professional musicians I’ve seen. The guitar player is what impressed me the most at replicating the distortion and feedback I’ve only dreamed of seeing someone accomplish live.
Although there was some Sonic Youth magic still there, I would like to be clear that this was not a Sonic Youth performance.
Kim’s latest songs she performed seemed to have a much more poetic and meaningful message. Her show was performed in front of a screen showing the view of any American drive that a person who lives here would see. Her lyrics and sounds that were created helped express the contained distress that many people feel when looking out the window at what the country has become. Some songs even alluded at the anguish we feel at the political decisions that are made on an everyday basis.
I would not expect Kim to engage much with the crowd, there were only a few words that were casually expressed at the crowd. I don’t think her music has ever been something that should be followed with a “How is everyone doing tonight?” or “Is everybody having fun tonight?”. She went through her set in about 45 minutes going through a few songs from her “No Home Record” that was released in 2019 and her “Grass Jeans” single from 2021.
She even ended her set with orchestral movement of guitar swings and pedal adjustments that created a beautiful mix of distortion, delay, and feedback to end the night. The show once again showed to me how Kim Gordon can cruise the line between obscure and appealing to make something that can only be described as extremely cool.
– Dilan Mattison