John Cale
Fear Is A Man's Best Friend - John Cale

Live reviews

Somerville 2000-12-14

Johnny D's Uptown, Somerville, Massachusetts, USA
Review by Joe Cullen

The near 60-minute performance came off without much of a hitch. Cale, looking healthy, clad in black leather pants and an untucked dress shirt, drew upon his voice, an acoustic guitar, and a grand piano, upon which he performed the majority of the set list. Highlights of the performance were Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" and "Fear is a Man's Best Friend." The crowd, just shy of capacity, were enamored with Cale. Many of them shouted song requests and praise throughout the show. One of the most charming things about Cale's performance was how shy he came across when he put his instruments down. la an episode of Storytellers, Cale introduced many songs with some brief words; but when he did so, he was sort of rubbing his face or his hair, rather awkwardly, like the photo on the cover of What's Welsh for Zen, his autobiography. Cale didn't mingle at all after the show. He made his way across the club and into the back room, where he remained for about another hour. Determined fans persevered (myself included), and eventually an associate of Cale's began taking items of paraphernalia downstairs to Cale to be autographed.

Cale and Joe Cullen, at Johnny D's

The intimate club setting will never be outdone for a concert. It's like a secret. And there's nothing like it. I know that it's a wonderful time I live in when I can drive across town to catch a performance by someone as prominent in rock as Cale, and at a 300-person capacity club to boot.

© 1999- Hans Werksman