The next couple of weeks i’ll be photographing a number of things for the Vivid Sydney festival which kicked off with the illumination of the Sydney Opera House sails last Thursday.
Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson held a press conference to launch Vivid Live. Laurie was charismatic and charming and despite a reputation for being very prickly with the press, Lou was relatively congenial.
Last night Lou Reed unleashed his Metal Machine Trio on the Opera House audience. The improvised noise performance is based on his 1975 album Metal Machine Music. Music critic Lester Bangs called it, “the greatest record ever made in the history of the human eardrum.”
But perhaps a more common reaction at the time was from a 1979 Rolling Stone appraisal, “a two-disc set consisting of nothing more than ear-wrecking electronic sludge, guaranteed to clear any room of humans in record time.”
The performance last night almost seemed to offer such a challenge to the audience – do you dare sit through the meandering and deafening feedback noise with no songs, melody or vocal?
I left after snapping for about ten minutes and was met by a number of people already leaving who evidently couldn’t bare it any longer. One woman remarked that it made her feel physically sick.
I only wish it provoked such a visceral reaction in me. I was simply bored.
There’s plenty more accessible/enjoyable performances on offer for the rest of Vivid Live.