You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Lou Reed

Gotham's live music scene has become one of the city's more mercurial aspects, with the shuttering of a slew of long-standing clubs matched by a spate of newcomers with varying degrees of understanding of what made the originals so special.

With:
Band: Lou Reed, Mike Rathke, Rob Wasserman, Steve Hunter, Jane Scarpantoni.

Gotham’s live music scene has become one of the city’s more mercurial aspects, with the shuttering of a slew of long-standing clubs matched by a spate of newcomers with varying degrees of understanding of what made the originals so special. On this, the opening night of this freshly minted mid-sized establishment, the proprietors signaled — through everything from décor to choice of inaugural act — that they’re tethered rather closely to gritty tradition.

Reed has never been a proponent of the “give the people what they want” philosophy, but he generally manages to have aud members walk away feeling that they’ve just gotten a dose of what they needed. That was certainly the case for this lengthy, largely low-key set, which concentrated on obscurities and spoken-word pieces rather than nostalgic walks on the wild side.

Opening with a slippery version of “What’s Good” that was steeped in his trademark crankiness, a sinewy, invigorated-looking Reed didn’t take long to warm up — after a fashion. For much of the perf, Reed wielded his guitar the way a chef employs a marrow fork, digging out sonic nuggets both jagged and unctuously silky, a pursuit aided by the instinctive counterpoints offered up by fellow guitarists Mike Rathke and Steve Hunter.

The sonic backdrop, while not exactly multi-hued, did reveal discernible gradations of indigo and midnight, imbuing songs as emotionally varied as the muted “Who I Am” — from Reed’s Edgar Allen Poe visitation “The Raven” — and the surprisingly vulnerable “Baton Rouge” with a sense of steely purpose.

Spoken passages were probably a bit too numerous given the setting — although some, like Reed’s interpolation of Andy Warhol’s diaries, were caustically hilarious. Whispers of a guest appearance prompted some to crane their necks in anticipation of a David Bowie spotting. That didn’t transpire, but true to form, Reed’s decision to bring saxophonist John Zorn out late in the set offered a left-field jolt, adding a degree of frenzy otherwise absent from the perf and exuding an edginess that hung in the air for the perf’s remainder.

Lou Reed

Highline Ballroom; 700 capacity; $85 top

Production: Presented inhouse. Reviewed April 30, 2007.

Cast: Band: Lou Reed, Mike Rathke, Rob Wasserman, Steve Hunter, Jane Scarpantoni.

More Music

  • Rudy

    Beloved Sports Movie 'Rudy' to Receive Live-to-Picture Concert Treatment (EXCLUSIVE)

    Gotham’s live music scene has become one of the city’s more mercurial aspects, with the shuttering of a slew of long-standing clubs matched by a spate of newcomers with varying degrees of understanding of what made the originals so special. On this, the opening night of this freshly minted mid-sized establishment, the proprietors signaled — […]

  • ICM agents Danielle Beckford (pictured at

    ICM Partners Ups Three to Concert Agents

    Gotham’s live music scene has become one of the city’s more mercurial aspects, with the shuttering of a slew of long-standing clubs matched by a spate of newcomers with varying degrees of understanding of what made the originals so special. On this, the opening night of this freshly minted mid-sized establishment, the proprietors signaled — […]

  • Shazam

    Apple Closes Shazam Acquisition, Starts Phasing Out Ads

    Gotham’s live music scene has become one of the city’s more mercurial aspects, with the shuttering of a slew of long-standing clubs matched by a spate of newcomers with varying degrees of understanding of what made the originals so special. On this, the opening night of this freshly minted mid-sized establishment, the proprietors signaled — […]

  • Beastie Boys Announce ‘Event Tour’ Promoting

    Beastie Boys Announce ‘Event Tour’ Promoting ‘Live & Direct’ Book

    Gotham’s live music scene has become one of the city’s more mercurial aspects, with the shuttering of a slew of long-standing clubs matched by a spate of newcomers with varying degrees of understanding of what made the originals so special. On this, the opening night of this freshly minted mid-sized establishment, the proprietors signaled — […]

  • Luke Wade attends The Television Academy's

    'The Voice': Luke Wade Talks About His Transition From Competing to Casting

    Gotham’s live music scene has become one of the city’s more mercurial aspects, with the shuttering of a slew of long-standing clubs matched by a spate of newcomers with varying degrees of understanding of what made the originals so special. On this, the opening night of this freshly minted mid-sized establishment, the proprietors signaled — […]

  • The Band Perry Speaks: Why They

    The Band Perry on Being Stuck in Label Limbo and Why They Left Country and Went Indie

    Gotham’s live music scene has become one of the city’s more mercurial aspects, with the shuttering of a slew of long-standing clubs matched by a spate of newcomers with varying degrees of understanding of what made the originals so special. On this, the opening night of this freshly minted mid-sized establishment, the proprietors signaled — […]

  • The Beatles

    The Beatles Announce 'White Album' Deluxe 50th Anniversary Edition

    Gotham’s live music scene has become one of the city’s more mercurial aspects, with the shuttering of a slew of long-standing clubs matched by a spate of newcomers with varying degrees of understanding of what made the originals so special. On this, the opening night of this freshly minted mid-sized establishment, the proprietors signaled — […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content