Recorded in 1973, Lou Reed’s Berlin was the unexpected, critically panned, follow-up “concept album” to his popular hit record, Transformer. Although it became a cult favorite and was reissued, Berlin was never performed live.

In 2006, St. Ann’s Warehouse presented the World Premiere of Lou Reed’s Berlin, a theatrically realized concert version of Reed’s stylized rock paean to life outside the circle, its orchestrations filled with the lyrics of the broken hearted and willfully disabled…the drifting tormented addicts of love formalizing their own downfalls in the outskirts of the divided city.

The show featured musical direction by Bob Ezrin and Hal Willner, direction and design by Julian Schnabel and lighting by Jennifer Tipton. Performers included Reed, Antony, Sharon Jones, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus and more.

Jon Pareles wrote in The New York Times, “Berlin was less startling but no less ambitious or, in the end, touching…The music stayed rightfully at center stage: close to the album’s original arrangements, but with more room for guitar solos, more clarity and the immediacy and dynamics of a concert. Mr. Reed wasn’t revisiting his songs as oldies or artifacts; he was reinhabiting them.”

Last updated: July 1, 2013