John Cale played the Limelight tonight (or the Avalon as it's known now) with a four-piece rock band. The songs ranged from slow and gentle (including about 1/3 of his new album, Hobo Sapiens) to shrieking noise-rock, concluding with Cale flailing away at a flying-V electric guitar for an encore of "Pablo Picasso." Some of his sweetest ballads, including "Andalucia" from Paris 1919, became driving rock songs with great guitar riffs.
The band consisted of Jeff Thall (lead guitar), Paul Page (bass), and Deantoni Parks (electric drums, samples). All of them performed equally well on the hard and soft stuff. Parks was particularly impressive, playing a set that consisted of a snare, hi-hat and kick drum, a battered set of electronic drum triggers, and a laptop. Despite all the hardware, he was a sensitive and organic drummer, paying very careful attention to Cale and the rest of the band and driving the songs through wildy different tempos and rhythms.
Mosquitos opened, and were delightful. I'm going to buy their new album as soon as possible.