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on 27 March 2004
Believe all the five star reviews! This is a truly unique experience. If you didn't catch any of the 2003 shows, this is the next best thing. I had the privelidge to catch the Coventry UK (my old home town) show and was surprised, mesmerised and enchanted. First thought's were, no Tony Smith on drums... so no rock-out, volume. How wrong could I be! Amazingly the 5 piece, Mike Rathke, Jane Scarpantoni, Lou, Fernando Saunders and Antony manage to create entire soundscapes from the simple, sparse, reserved, but incredibly powerful Vanishing Act to the all out power of Men of Good Fortune. Fernando must take credit for playing various basses and electronic drums (sometimes simultaneously) as must Mike Rathke who plays guitar and synths. Jane puts in an incredible performance, creating atmospheric soundscapes to augment certain tracks, while tackling the repetitive riff of Street Hassle for he full 7 minutes... but most stunning is her frenetic, awe inspiring solo on Venus In Furs.
This tour was a complete triumph for Lou and the band. Re-working songs from the 35+ years of Lou's recorded output, none falling short of the original. Fans of Lou's deceptively simple but inimicable solos, utilising controlled feedback that can paralyse entire crowds will not be dissapointed. Lou's Telecaster is used in moderation but to drastic effect, with 40 years experience, Lou's unique technique is closer to perfection than ever before.
Jane must take my personal award for her outstanding performance throughout, but one cannot fault the entire band, including Master Ren.
A tour de force
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on 29 July 2004
I had given up on Lou sometime around Set the Twilight Reeling, but something tugged at me after reading reveiws to venture another time with Lou. I am not disappointed at all, I cannot stop playing this album in the car. Being 'off' Lou I never went to the shows, and now I deeply regret that decision. From soup to nuts this is the best CD I have played this year.
Damn it, I now have to buy the albums I ignored from 1996 onwards.
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on 30 June 2005
amazing! that's all i can say, it's clean--pat attention here, a lot reed fan and the VU fans alike are looking for rough recordings, sound raw and real live, they like to talk about lou's clean recordings unsatisfactory, well, this one might fall into that clean category again. but it's lou! not vu no more!
a concise, mature small lineup, great performance, great sounding is all we need from the mature lou! the rough sound of vu characterised their spirit, we should expect something different from lou!
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Well, it's a double live album, always seen as something of a contractual obligation, but Lou Reed invests his live shows with something different. So you get reworkings of Velvets faves such as 'All Tomorrow's Parties' and 'Sunday Morning', but he does them well, and there's a something appealling about the fact that he can't really carry a tune anymore, a vulnerable quality that is quite disarming in an artist of his maturity. Better than you'd expect, and well worth your time.
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on 3 September 2013
WOW I love Lou REED. I have seen him live many times and also had the pleasure of seeing the reformed Velvet UNDERGROUND in London and Edinburgh not edinborrow Lou
:- )
I saw Lou live in Bristol during this tour and was blown away. Lou was on great form and the band were awesome. The play list had many old favourites ( no sweet jane !! )
Many of my personal Lou favs are on this live set, tell it to your heart, sunday morning, call on me, candy says and some old VU tracks heroin, all tomorrows parties,

I did not think Lou would ever come close to rock n roll animal as his ultimate live recording but Animal Serenade does just that.

My personal favorite a simply beautiful and haunting VANISHING ACT
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on 11 June 2008
I could really rave about this record (digipak or whatever) in all the departments other reviewers mention. If you sit down listening to this your seat will move. Prepare to be stunned. However, instead of raving about this record I will just ask if Jane Scarpantoni is married - I could marry the sound she produces - yes this is a proposal
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on 22 November 2013
Heard most of lou over last 35 years but this is the ultimate experience in music venus in furs is a piece of music that shold be taught to musicians it has almost become addictive ive never done this before but I cant explain how much this music and other lou reed has become part of mynlife
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on 3 December 2013
Who would have thought that tracks from Berlin actually could make for enjoyable listening? Without the bombastic overdubs of the 1973 version (or of the 2006 film by Julian Schnabel), How Do You Think It Feels, Men Of Good Fortune and The Bed become a sheer treat for the ear: Lou's voice never has sounded so simultaneaously sensuous and world weary, the cello works wonders and the rest of the first CD ranks among the most moving listening experiences one could ever hope for. As for the track listing, it's faultless: Ecstasy ands Street Hassle rank among the best examples of Lou's somewhat disturbing poetry, the latter adding a healthy dose of sick humour (yes, that's a contadiction in terms, but were's talking about Lou Reed, aren't we?). So, all in all, an essential buy, almost as great as the peerless 1969 Live Velvet Underground double LP.
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on 30 April 2014
Excellent double cd, with great re-imaginings of Lou's back catalogue. Great song selection and sound quality. The band, Rathke and Saunders are on top form with imaginative instrumentations: guitars that sound like pianos and quality synth drums with an added human kick element. Cellist Jane Scarpantoni adds the famous Velvet’s drone to the proceedings and soulful Antony Hegarty on backing vocals completes the back line. Lou’s singing style is different and innovative compared to the originals. His intonations and speed variations add an intensity that reawakens the lyrical content and meanings dulled by over familiarity with the original versions. It’s with albums like this you realise a true genus has left the world!
I have been intoxicated by this album right from the first play. Treat yourself to the Lou Reed of 2003!
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on 10 May 2015
Superb Live Album !!
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