TVD Live: Richard Lloyd at the Black Cat, 6/1

When Tom Verlaine brought his latest version of Television on tour last year, fans savored hearing so much of Marquee Moon, their 1977 debut that has only grown in guitar stature over the years. Good as it was, there clearly was a missing link—the guitarist Richard Lloyd, whose intricate guitar interplay (and co-writing “Guiding Light”) helped make that the classic it’s become.

Lloyd joined various Television reunion schemes over the years, but not for the last decade or so. Any replacement in Television could only hope to replicate Lloyd’s intricate inventiveness, not always successfully. Seeing Lloyd himself on tour Thursday at the Black Cat in DC was an opportunity to get his half of some of those classics—though he was clearly not as Marquee Moon dependent as the current version of his last band.

Still, the telltale opening licks of things like “Elevation,” which came mid-set, followed by the title song, “Friction” and the one song from the album that Verlaine’s Television didn’t play in DC last fall, “See No Evil” got the crowd excited. Performing with Terry Clouse on bass, Jeff Brakebill on drums, and Jason NeSmith on second guitar, Lloyd revved up those tunes on the clubs backstage that was not so different in height and size than the one they inaugurated at C.B.G.B.’s more than 40 years ago.

Lloyd has had an impressive resume since those days, playing backup on Matthew Sweet’s Girlfriend, recording with John Doe, and touring with Rocket from the Tombs. He included one song he wrote for the latter that was never recorded, “Amnesia,” and a 13th Floor Elevators song he recorded for a Roky Erickson tribute, “Fire Engine.”

Lloyd recorded a few of surprisingly melodic solo albums right after Television and included a couple of tracks from them, “Misty Eyes,” “Number Nine,” and “Field of Fire,” which ended the main set with his most extended guitar break. At 65, with a mess of hair and a squint that made it look like he had just been woke, Lloyd’s single instrument was an ancient beat up Telecaster; he never made a step toward any pedals and seemed to tune by sight.

His recent recorded material tended to be louder, more blues-based basic rock—which pretty much fit for such an intimate up-close audience that included local celeb Ian MacKaye of Fugazi. Relying heavily on his decade old album The Radiant Monkey, he didn’t throw in anything from his 2009 Hendrix tribute The Jamie Neverts Story. But he had a couple of things he’s yet to record, the ballad “Something Remains” and “King of Fools,” that began the two-song encore.

There was solid support in the show from DC band Dot Dash, which also has its own impressive lineage, with former stints in bands like The Saturday People, Julie Ocean, Youth Brigade, and Swervedriver.

The Word / I’m Waiting for the Man
Crystal Mountain
Misty Eyes
Fire Engine (13th floor Elevators cover)
Swipe It
Marquee Moon
See No Evil
Something Remains
Field of Fire

King of Fools
Number Nine

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