Video — November 15, 2011 at 8:08 am

Video: Sonic Youth in Sao Paulo, Brazil — watch what could be band’s final concert

Sonic Youth wrapped up a short South American tour last night with a 70-minute set at the SWU Music & Arts Festival in Sao Paulo, Brazil — something that normally wouldn’t be particularly newsworthy in and of itself, except that it just might have been the legendary noise-rockers’ final performance after 30 years together.

When Matador Records last month announced that Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon  were separating, the label’s statement noted the band would still play South America, but that “plans beyond that tour are uncertain.” In the near-term future, Moore already is planning more solo touring, and Lee Ranaldo is preparing to release a new solo album that he’ll also tour next year.

In the three-part playlist embedded above, you can watch Sonic Youth’s full SWU set, which was broadcast on TV and streamed online, and uploaded to YouTube by luisleema. The band played a dozen tracks, new and old, ending with a 10-minute run through “Teen Age Riot” that, appropriately, dissolved into waves of noise and feedback.


Setlist: Sonic Youth,  SWU Music & Arts Festival, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 11/14/11

1. “Brave Men Run”
2. “Death Valley ’69”
3. “Sacred Trickster”
4. “Calming the Snake”
5, “Mote”
6. “‘Cross the Breeze”
7. “Schizophrenia”
8. “Drunken Butterfly”
9. “Starfield Rd.”
10. “Flower”
11. “Sugar Kane”
12. “Teen Age Riot”






  1. Man. Just look at that setlist! Death Valley ’69 right at #2. This set encompasses 25 years of music- and for me, many great memories of listening to albums and seeing them live. I still remember the goosebumps on the back of my neck when I listened to Bad Moon Rising for the first time, way back in the mid 1980s. I was fortunately enough to see them three times, once in support of Goo, Washing Machine and I believe the triple bill with Social Distortion and Neil Young was in support of Dirty, but I’m not 100% sure. Anyway, I’m sad they are breaking up- especially since The Eternal was a highlight of their discography. They are obviously still capable of making great music- and a lot more modern than 50 year olds have any right to sound. Oh well, at least they are planning on pursuing solo projects.

  2. They haven’t actually broken up though, correct?

  3. Leaman Crews

    It’s totally speculation that they are breaking up at this point. I’d say this will definitely be the last show for a while, but not necessarily the last ever. Give it some time and see if Thurston and Kim don’t find it easier to share the stage again.

  4. wow I would say Thurston was pretty drunk!

  5. wow! a comment in regards to Thurston’s relative state of inebriation is not appropriate for your “edgy” website “slicingupeyeballs”? LOSER!!!

  6. oops sorry!

  7. my most humble apology I wouldn’t blame you if you deleted all my posts. I like your website

  8. They need to release this as a DVD. It would make a nice coda to Sonic Youth.

  9. I saw this and it was incredible. The band was tight and the music and noise was, well, musical. Camera work and sound was very good too.

    Who was the guy playing bass or guitar in the back? Can’t find any info on him anywhere. Jim O’Roarke?

  10. It was Mark Ibold, used to be in Pavement

  11. Oooold post but anyone know where I can download the video in high quality? :-)

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