Lou Reed - "Live Performances 1972 & 1974" DVD Review (XXL Media) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Friday, January 27, 2012

Lou Reed - "Live Performances 1972 & 1974" DVD Review (XXL Media)

I was excited by this release as Lou Reed – Live Performances 1972 & 1974 is the first live recording from Lou’s Sally Can’t Dance tour to be commercially released. The first video segment shows Lou and his band recorded live at the Paris Olympia on 5/25/74. This segment, which was originally broadcast on French TV, captures the first six songs of Lou’s thirteen song set. The second segment contains four tracks that were recorded in Brussels in May 1974 and the final track is from Lou’s reunion with John Cale and Nico at Le Bataclan in 1972.

On Lou’s 1974 tour, the songs have been given a radical reworking to take on an urban, funky vibe. Most of the songs are longer than their respective studio versions which give the band room to jam and highlight prominent bass and keyboard. While Lou has always been the leader of the band, he had now moved to be the focal point as well. Lou is a peroxide blonde, dressed all in black, with large “Marty Rev” style sunglasses – he has completely handed off guitar playing off to Danny Weis and makes some pretty ‘interesting’ pre-disco dance moves while not singing. Lou mostly seems lost in his own world in front of the mic but does tell the crowd “Hey! Shut Up!” as the band is starting into “Ride Sally Ride”. This DVD is a great bridge between Lou’s experimental solo work and the polish of his later work as Lou was a veteran performer by the time of his next concert video – A Night with Lou Reed, which captures Lou live at the Bottom Line in 1983.

Track List - Paris 1974
- Intro/Sweet Jane
- I'm Waiting for the Man
- Lady Day
- Vicious
- Sally Can't Dance
- Ride Sally Ride

Track List - Brussels 1974
- Rock 'n Roll
- Heroin
- Walk on the Wild Side
- Goodnight Ladies

Reed/Cale - "Heroin", Le Bataclan, Paris '72 (Uploader disabled embedding)

There is some variation in quality between the three segments on the disc. The Paris footage is the best quality footage – it is filmed in color and is clear throughout. The source footage has deteriorated so this isn’t nowhere near comparable to “MTV style” live footage but it is very watchable (B/+) and the sound is solid. The Brussels footage is of noticeable lesser quality – while this segment was filmed in color, wide angles along with a good bit of generational loss make the video portion muddy. There are also some source video glitches in this segment. The redeeming factor is that audio is comparable to the Paris segment. The Le Bataclan footage was filmed in B&W and this footage is pretty good – the camera starts behind Reed and Cale but ends up with some nice close-ups of both men.

Lou Reed