The Boyf, in his ongoing and relentless awesomeness, got us tickets to see Lou Reed at the Carolina Theatre of Durham on 4/28. I took a couple of pictures without a flash right as the band started up.

The show was indescribably good. He played a couple of songs I’d really hoped to hear – “Halloween Parade” among them, of course – and he played a lot of things that, frankly, I didn’t recognize but did deeply love. They would start out pretty simple with a lot of the songs and then build into this conglomerated and then welded, unified sound that almost became a solid surface one could reach out and touch. The sound quality was spectacular, much better than the sound quality was for, say, They Might Be Giants. As we left I heard a number of people exclaim about how good it was.

The audience was very into it in a way I should have expected them to be with Lou Reed; whereas at TMBG everyone wanted to stand up and dance, at the Lou Reed show everyone stayed in their seats and basically grooved one-on-one with the music. Everyone got to have a very personal or very limitedly shared experience with the music that is a rare gift in a sold-out live performance. (For those of my friends who remember it, imagine something like that time we were five of, what, thirty people at that English Beat show, only surrounded by 1,200 other people.)

There was only one incredibly minor annoyance, this guy in the balcony who kept doing this really annoying whistle. Great, whatever, people react at a concert, it’s a public space. Aside from the fact that we all got a good laugh out of someone yelling at him to shut up, it’s a freakin’ Lou Reed concert. Aggroing at the guy is kind of missing the point of a Lou Reed concert, isn’t it? So, whatever. He was at most an incredibly minor annoyance to me, nothing like those fucksticks from the balcony during Star Trek II at ESCAPISM! last year.*

The only reason he merits a mention, in fact, is that as we were leaving he was leaning over the railing of the balcony to whistle at people from above in some attempt to shake his tiny fist at the world, or whatever. Later, outside, he spent a couple of minutes staggering around and people were a little um… yeah about him. I walked away from the group to take a picture of Evan’s coffee cart, which isn’t always at Carolina events but when it is then I love it in a deep and intense way because Evan makes some damn good coffee and it’s right there. Anyway, I’m taking a picture of the coffee cart and thinking, wow, how sad is it that some guy in his 40’s – I’m being generous – is crazy trashed at 9:30 on a Monday night and being an asshole at a Lou Reed concert? and all of a sudden – BAMF! – there’s the guy, like he’s teleported into the scene. He leaps into my shot, both arms waving, while I take the picture and refuses to move for as long as my camera is out. Still not on the level of the balcony jackasses from Star Trek II but seriously, the dude could probably stand to get some help. His friend who thought Whistler was such a laff riot(TM) could find somebody more interesting to sidekick for, too.

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* I will never forgive the people in the balcony. I know, I know, but I can’t let it go.