Concert Review: Laurie Anderson

The avant-garde performance artist brought her musical commentary to this country's liberal elites.

Music good 88 (photo credit:)
Music good 88
(photo credit: )
Laurie Anderson Mann Auditorium Tel Aviv November 3 Israel got a fitting election day treat last week. As Americans voted for a new direction in their country, Tel Aviv celebrated with the ever-political art of Laurie Anderson. The avant-garde performance artist brought her musical commentary to this country's liberal elites for a pair of shows last Monday and Tuesday. Anderson's performances are all-encompassing experiences, from her irreverent lyrics - alternately spoken and sung - to the electronic sound effects as she taps percussion beats against her head. Not known for subtlety, Anderson serenaded the crowd over extended electronic rhythm notes with her take on contemporary America: "And if a country tortures people / and holds its citizens without cause or trial and sets up military tribunals / this is also not a problem / unless there is an expert who says this… is the beginning… of a problem." Her choice of candidates last Tuesday is anyone's guess. When there were only a few songs left in the thought-provoking performance, Anderson invited her husband, Lou Reed, to join the band. With ruffled hair complementing his T-shirt and jeans, Reed strutted with guitar in hand to the empty chair awaiting him. The man simply exudes rock 'n roll. With a fresh injection of energy, the band played the first of a series of melodic pieces, the focus now on the aesthetics of the music. Anderson and Reed performed a duet of her "Lost Art of Conversation," a transitional piece which charmingly combined her artistic style with his rock. For the first encore, Anderson took the stage for a very brief solo on her electric fiddle, a pleasant coda punctuating the dynamic show. A second, final encore provided the audience with a bonus track; Reed sang "I'll Be Your Mirror," an old favorite from his Velvet Underground days. As he sang, the crowd clapped in unison on beat, a display of appreciation for an exceptional show that ranged from the finest in performance art to a classic rock experience.