Monday, September 15, 2008

laurie anderson goes underground

Yesterday Stacey and I went to the Ferst Center at Georgia Tech to see a live show by Laurie Anderson. Laurie Anderson is now 60 years young, maybe that is why the show started at 5 p.m. Everyone knows old people go to bed early, just ask Stacey and me.

I got to be honest, I almost went to bed early yesterday. This show started slow and then slowed down. The title of the show is “Homeland”, and Ms. Anderson, or is it now Mrs. Reed, had lots to say about the state of America and the most recent wars we have started. It’s a dark subject and the sound matched. Lot’s of low end, rumbling sounds from both bass guitar and keyboards. I think the fact that there was really not much of a visual show, which is what I remember most about previous shows, made the performance seem even darker.

Don’t get me wrong, this was just the first half of the hour and forty minute show. Just when Stacey nodded off, Ms. Anderson introduced her band and then invited her husband to join them for a number. So from stage right appears the godfather of all that is New York cool, Lou Reed. The old man took his seat on stage, yes he sat down, strapped on his guitar and they played a song, “the art of conversation”. Earlier in the day I had watched a video of them doing this song at Joes Pub in NYC. So it was cool to see it again, live.

Lou played one song and left the stage to a few folks trying to give him a standing ovation. The next song was far more upbeat then the first part of the show and got us all going again.

Ms. Anderson then invited Mr. Reed out again and BOOM, it was like the Velvet Underground had taken the show over. Suddenly a wall of sound was upon us. Along with the guy playing cello, Ms. Anderson’s electric violin, the fellow playing the hollow body electric bass and Kevin Hearn, of the Barenaked Ladies who was working the according, piano and synth, it was a beautiful thing. I found it to be very V.U. like and why not Lou Reed was playing the electric guitar. It made the show one of the best I have ever seen. Lou and I go way back, I could go on for pages and pages about the records he has been a part of and the “scene” he created along with the likes of Warhol, Burroughs, The New York Dolls, the Chelsa Hotel and on and on and on and on….. Sorry if you missed it.

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