The two Rock & Roll of Hall of Famers appear two event documentaries
PARK CITY—Lou Reed and Carole King are both 68. They both have been inducted in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Both have movies at Sundance: King and touring partner James Taylor are the pivots for “Troubadours,” while Reed is here with “Red Shirley,” a documentary about his aunt. And both played here on Jan. 23.
But that would be where the similarities end. Reed played at one of Sundance’s hottest tickets, the annual Celebration of Music in Film, while King performed at a party at Cicero’s (dubbed The House of Hype during Sundance) to celebrate “Troubadours.”
Reed opened with “Ecstasy,” the title track to his 2000 concept album. Accompanying himself on electric guitar and with a sideman in piano and synthesizer, he delivered a wonderfully nuanced version of the song. Of course, part of the irony of the droning tune is how mournful it sounds, in direct contrast to its title.
He then delved back almost 30 year for 1982’s “The Blue Mask.” As with so many of Reed’s songs, the harrowing lyrics are startlingly cinematic, with the lyrics creating fully-developed scenes.
Reed lightened it up a bit with The Velvet Underground’s “I’m Sticking With You,” as well as “Small Town,” from Reed and John Cale’s “Songs for Drella.” His delved back into “Ecstasy” for “Rock Minuet,” a gritty look at a troubled son that includes the hard-to-forget lines “In the back of the warehouse were a couple of guys/they had tied someone up and sewn up their eyes/ and he got so excited, he came on his thighs.”
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