Best Thing About the Phoenix Crowd: Most of them stuck around to hear Sonic Youth. Reports from most other Lollapalooza dates had a third or even half of the audience leaving after Hole. There was a noticeable exodus after Courtney and Company left the stage in Phoenix, but nowhere near that kind of hemorrhage.

Sonic Youth's set was worth sticking around for. The musicians were so comfortable onstage, so straight-up and so on top of their sound that they were a friendly wonder to watch.

Feedback is like a genie. To make it work magic for you, you have to keep it under tight control. Sonic Youth never let the monster slip its leash. Just when you thought the band had fallen over the edge into chaos, the sonic assault would stop on a dime. Thunderous roars and shrieks to silence in a split second. Awesome precision. And when Thurston Moore howled into the microphone over his band's crashing pillars of noise, I took it as a cathartic tribute to Hsker D, Sugar, the Minutemen, TSOL, Redd Kross and all the other underground war-horses of the Eighties that pulled and pulled, but never fully got their due.

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Phoenix Concert Tickets

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