Lou Reed live in Amsterdam 18th June 1989
Review by Serge
1989 saw the overwhelming comeback of Lou Reed with his now legendary album New York. Never in his career he got that constant rave reviews from critics and public. I was so proud of my hero who's music I got to know some four years ealier. To coincide with the succesful New York album Lou embarked on a world tour that year which brought him in the month of june for three shows at the Carre theatre in Amsterdam. For me as a then 15 year old kid this would be the first time ever to see my hero live. I already heard great reviews of the concerts he had given on the US leg of the tour and the UK shows aerlier that month. The New York show would last more than two hours with the first hour the entire New York album in exactly the same order as the album. The second half would be split into some older material and the real old favorites. Backing Reed (by then with a pair of spectacles and long hair) were Michael Rathke (also with long hair), bassist extraordinairy Rob Wasserman and drummer Bob Medici. A simple but nice stage set that covered a New York street ally surrounded the four piece band. Stage set and lighting were desigend by Reed's then wife Sylvia. As said before Reed started the show with the entire New York album but in the Amsterdam case the songs Sick Of You, Hold On en Good Evening Mr. Waldheim were scrapped from the setlist. Although still not sure why it didn't hurt the show. Reed and band delivered great renditions of the New York songs with a beautiful Halloween Parade (with nice acapella encore), a harrowing even more hard rocking There is No Time (with Reed ending th song with the last notes of Star Spangled Banner), the splendid Beginning of a great adventure with a glancerole of Rob Wasserman on jazzy bass and the closer of the set Dime Store Mystery with Mike Rathke slamming on his guitar in the apotheose of the song. Already an unforgettable hour. After fifteen minutes Reed returned to the stage (the stage set was carried away) and the band started with I love You Suzanne. Next up was the surprise of the Frank Sinatra cover One More For my Baby, One More For The Road (with a humorous Reed saying he does a better version than Frank) which he recorded with Rob Wasserman for his Duets album. A blistering Rock and Roll seeing Reed and Rathke crancking up those famous chords during the "It's Allright"ending part of the song. Magnificent! A funked up Original Wrapper with Michael Rathke getting really funky and Reed fuzzing it up with some chords and notes the public was getting on their feet. The best live version of Sweet Jane I ever heard was on this show where he delivered it in the slow version (as on 1969 live from VU) with the extra vocal part. Absolutley beautiful and inspired! Vicious and Walk on the Wild Side also got nice renditions as was a beautiful Satellite of Love which ended the show. The first Lou Reed show I'd ever witnessed and although the Ecstasy shows came close to this 1989 show this is still the best I've seen Reed delivering. A very nice memory of one of the best concerts I've ever seen. Alone for this Reed will be in my eternal memory.