I must say, the band looked good for their age.
[Left to right: Fred Smith, Tom Verlaine, Billy Ficca and Jimmy Rip]
Okay, actually, we went to see the legendary Television at said venue with the JLS, and since I really hadn't ever seen the band at their peak, I was pretty stoked. Which lasted for about five minutes after the show started; beyond that, not so much.
The reason: Television did not perform a single song from any of their three original studio albums. In fact they did no "songs" per se whatsoever -- the show was completely instrumental-jams-only (I think I recognized one number from Verlaine's early 90s instrumental set Warm and Cool, but I'm not sure).
What was it like? Well, some of the playing was brilliant (no surprise there), and I respect them for trying something a little different. And if the idea was to recreate the experience of hearing a second-tier San Francisco ballroom psychedelic band at one of the Fillmores in 1967 (sans the pungent aroma of marijuana, of course) then the show was a complete success. Unfortunately, I've got old Moby Grape live bootlegs from that period whose free-form, made up on the spot, instrumentals sound pretty much the same as Television did last Saturday night. And the Grape's jams are just as enervating without drugs.
I for one, however found the whole experience somewhere between intensely headache inducing and a really unethical bait and switch.
Very, very disappointing.
UPDATE: A certain Shady Dame reminds me that Television opened the show with a little bit of noodling on the riff of "1880 or So" (from the third studio album); I regret the error. Also, in the interests of total accuracy, I should add that they DID encore with "Little Johnny Jewel," albeit without vocals, but technically that song was a single rather than an album track.