Wednesday, April 23, 2008
My ticket was waiting at will-call, so I headed down to 9:30 a little earlier than usual. No need, really. There was no line to speak of. So I found myself with an hour to kill before Lou Reed came on. I headed over to Nellie's for a beer and to try to catch a few minutes of the Caps game. Only in DC can you go to a sports bar when your local team is in game 7 of the Stanley Cup playoffs, only to find 3 of the 4 TVs tuned-in to Democratic Primary coverage. Ugh.
Anyway - I headed back to the club at about 8:45, only to discover that Lou Reed had requested that all bar service on the main floor stop at 8:50. If you wanted to drink after that, you had to go to the basement or to the upstairs bar. Never seen that before. Loved it. There was virtually no movement on the main floor for the entire show and you could have heard a pin drop during the quiet parts. That's gotta kill the monetary take for the club, but it made for a much better show. I hope they do that more often. Joe Jackson take note.
Lou came on and played a really strong set. Everything he played sounded great. What a career this guy's had. A couple of obscure Velvet Underground songs...a few obscure solo tunes....a few semi-obscure solo tunes...at least one new song... and that's it. A dozen songs. The only real hit he played was "Sweet Jane". He didn't even sing for most of "I'm Sticking With You". At about 1:20, it was a fairly short show, considering the depth of his catalog. Surely he'd play a sizable encore, full of better-known songs. Nope. "Perfect Day" was fantastic, but that lone encore brought the show to an abrupt end. I was almost willing to write it off as Lou being "Lou", but then I saw a setlist my friend had snagged. "Satellite of Love" and "Pale Blue Eyes" were listed as additional encores, but they weren't played. hrmph. I'll admit felt a little cheated after I saw that.
But everything he did play sounded terrific. He looked like he was having a good time and the band (including Dead-associate Rob Wasserman on stand-up bass) was killer. The rocking songs rocked well. The quiet songs were mesmerizing. Highlights were probably "Ecstacy", "Halloween Parade" and "Perfect Day". I was thrilled with what we got - I just wanted a little more. I'd go again in a heartbeat though. Very fun show.