Lou Reed @ 9:30 Club, Washington, DC [4/22/08]
I can't put into words how disappointing last night's Lou Reed show was.
The last time I saw Lou was in 2005 or 2006 at the Bowery Ballroom in New York. The wonderful Antony was with still with him at that point, and the show was incredible. The setlist was well-balanced between Velvet Underground, older Lou solo songs, and more recent fare, including one of his first live performances of Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven. And while the latter was pretty damn boring, it was at least interspersed with everything else and came across as little more than an interesting, experimental side-note to the performance.
Last night's show at the 9:30 Club was drastically different. The set list relied primarily on Lou's more recent songs, and most of those were performed as either quasi-jams or bland AOR. The main set itself lasted about 80 minutes, but "Ecstasy" and "Magic & Loss" - neither of which do much for me - probably took up 30-35 minutes of the set. Several other songs also pushed the 10-minute mark. The encore consisted of just one song - a decent though not great rendition of "Perfect Day".
I'm not someone who goes in expecting a "greatest hits" show by any means, and would have been happy hearing a lot of songs from various points in Lou's career. But, honestly, the songs he chose last night, and the way he chose to present them, just about put me to sleep. I was actually ready to head out at around 10:15pm when the set suddenly came to an end.
Oh well. Guess I should have known it was gonna be one of those nights when the venue announced that Lou had requested that the bars close ten minutes prior to showtime. He also requested no cameras, so no photos from me.