Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Tom Verlaine @ The Double Door

Tom Verlaine is a fucking amazing guitar player. I repeat: Tom Verlaine is a fucking amazing guitar player.

I saw him play last night at The Double Door, to a small but appreciative crowd that appeared to be a pretty even mix of music geeks both old enough and not old enough to have actually have seen Television in person. Marty Lennartz put it best is his little introduction before he played, "I think everybody here tonight has spent a night with the lights turned off doing nothing but listening to the amazing interplay between Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd..." *huge roar from the crowd*

His presence on stage was exactly what I had envisioned after all those hours doing just that. Shy, but friendly; not introducing himself upon walking on stage, but endearing himself to the crowd just a song or two later by twice politely admonishing the guy working the light board to quit changing the stage lights because he couldn't see the neck of his guitar. He played a set that was close to two hours straight, without a break, despite a broken string and the oppressive heat in the club. (Seriously, I hadn't sweat that much at a show since I saw Ministry in 1996.) The man is a total master of his craft, easily and fluidly switching between styles and influences. Blues licks that broke from the genre's tired forms morphed gracefully into improvisational stretches that didn't lose the plot by wandering for too far or too long. And boy could he make that guitar sing, just like in the more inspired passages of Marquee Moon. Hell, just listening to him tune up his guitar while the band started the song was amazing in and of itself. Admittedly, I haven't spent much time listening to his solo work, but he completely impressed me with the set that he did play.

No dear reader, he didn't play a single Television song. *sigh* Not even a few bars from Venus De Milo? *deep sigh* Oh well, great show nonetheless. When I get that time machine though, first trip: NYC, The Bowery, 1977.

Update: Don't take my word for it, check out a review of the show in the Chicago Tribune.


Blogger Samuel A Love said...

I would go back to Dec, 1975 myself.

Tue Jun 13, 09:17:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Chico said...

Lol. I swear I had a premonition you'd say that...

Tue Jun 13, 09:52:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Samuel A Love said...

there's a review of the show in today's Tribune

Wed Jun 14, 09:29:00 AM PDT  

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