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2003-09-18 - 7:27 a.m.

Lou Reed was one of those artists that I always wanted to get into, but there were always other CDs to get. I’m like that sometimes- I buy something, particularly greatest hits’, not on the strength of knowing lots of songs but based on critical acclaim. When I made the leap from 2Day FM to Triple M (yes I’m over both of them now) I bought a stack of albums that were in their (insert deep rock tosser voice) TOP 40 ROCK ALBUMS OF ALL TIME, and it shaped what I listened to for the next couple of years.

So finally last year sometime I bought Lou Reed’s greatest hits- aware of the Velvet Underground phenomenon but not knowing any of their stuff, and really only knowing “Walk on the Wild Side”, “Perfect Day” and “Satellite of Love”. It didn’t really blow me away. It was the Velvet Underground that did that for me. I borrowed “The Velvet Underground and Nico” from Annie and instantly fell in love with songs like “Sunday Morning” and “Femme Fatale” and was absolutely fascinated with “Heroin”.

I had the opportunity to see Lou Reed at Livid in 2000 but the moronic organisers scheduled him to clash with the Cure (in hindsight Lou Reed would have been a better choice after seeing the Cure twice in Sydney- both awesome shows- and then having them actually slow down their set for a festival, it really was an uninspiring performance. But then at the time Lou was virtually only playing new stuff anyway and I did catch part of “Dirty Boulevarde” which was probably the only song I would have known.

I was slightly worried that he might do the same thing in 2003- 2 hours devoted to Edgar Alan Poe’s “The Raven” perhaps? But then again he had just released another anthology of songs, so plugging the classics wasn’t out of the question. By the time I went to the concert I knew I was going to be in for something good, as the advertisements actually told us some of the songs he would be playing (mindful of his reputation for self indulgence perhaps?).

And it was unbelievable. One of the best concerts I’ve seen. With the possible exception of Lou’s eccentric taste in backing singers (the bass player was a great bass player and worked well as a backing singer but when he let him sing one of his own compositions it was sickeningly lame and he sounded like he should be an altar boy- while the soprano “Anthony” just sat there for most of the show).

He was so personable, he engaged the audience within the first two minutes when after a few bars of one of his classics “Sweet Jane” he stopped to explain the fatal mistake people made when they wondered how he built a career on three chords- there was in fact a subtle fourth chord in there.

There were a lot of songs I’d never heard before in the set, but I’d say a majority of them I’d heard *of*- and, barring the song that Fernando the bass player sang which I just thought of as an interval, none that didn’t draw me in.

There’s not all that much to say in detail about the gig except that it blew me away- so I might just put down the setlist. Well, as well as I remember it, and that’s pretty well seeing as I ended up seeing him twice :) I might even be so anal as to give them a place in time…

Sweet Jane (Loaded, 1970)

Small Town (Songs For Drella, 1990)

Tell it to Your Heart (Mistrial, 1986)

Men of Good Fortune (Berlin, 1973)

How Do You Think It Feels? (Berlin, 1973)

The Day John Kennedy Died (The Blue Mask, 1982)

Ecstasy (Ecstasy, 2000)

Vanishing Act (The Raven, 2003)

Street Hassle (Street Hassle, 1978)

The Bed (Berlin, 1973)

Ravien Cheri (mind numbing bass player song :)

Venus in Furs (The Velvet Underground and Nico, 1965)

Dirty Boulevarde (New York, 1989)

Sunday Morning (The Velvet Underground and Nico, 1965)

All Tomorrow’s Parties (The Velvet Underground and Nico, 1965)

Call on Me (meh, I haven’t got the album reference, but it’s late 80s or early 90s)

The Raven (The Raven, 2003)

Set the Twilight Reeling (Set the Twilight Reeling, 1996)

______________________

Candy Says [featuring Anthony on lead vocals] (The Velvet Underground, 1967)

Perfect Day (Transformer, 1972)

There’s not much more to say about it. I just had to be anal and get it all down…

 

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