Loud isn't a good word. I should say very nosiey. My initial internet search proved quite accurate to say the least because the experience was like being in a room with the microphone turned up too loud. Which happend actually. I went in around 7:45 and because of the type of music which will be playing; they set up some seats before the stage and everyone was subject to feedback sounds which was not pleasant but oddly eerie. I am sure it would be quite enjoyable if I was drunk or at least a drink in me but I did not want to get alcohol.
After being stuck with that audio feedback for an hour; the show started at around 8:45pm which I was a little thrilled. In fact Lou Reed voiced a few words(fire, living fire) but the high volume feedback and audio distortion made it unbearable. I kept hearing him signal to the sound man on the back, top area to go up and the volume indeed was too much for a few people because they just left never to be seen again. Industrial music is a great term for my experience because I had to put my hand on one of my ears because the noise really hurt. It was funny to see The sax person and the line processing guy with long hair get into it a little with the sterotypical head jerking and sax jerking but there was just no break from the electronic sludge... I mean seriously 45 minutes and no stop at all. On a side note the saxaphone actually started to sound better but the line processing and feedback was too much. You couldn't even see much of Lou Reed who was center seated behind some stuff which blocked his torso area which just happens to be where he would be playing the guitar.
In conclusion I left at around 9:30pm very disappointed. I am not sure how many people actually paid for the show because the guest list was actually pretty large though I know a few came just because of Lou Reed who probably never heard of his Metal Machine Music Album before. I am thinking the music would be great as an art exhibit or even a backdrop to some art piece with a woman walking around with a bat breaking up car windows... lol. Anyway I was talking to my friend and I thought it would be great to hear it while very lightly stoned cause it will probably give you some vivid thoughts but be sure to have someone with you. My friend said he took a nap and believed he heard the devil so he's going to hell or something... Weird right?
Here's a picture of the stamp at the Gramercy Theatre:
It's smudge cause I washed my hands a few time. Will probably go again but maybe bring an slr because no flash photography makes automatic cameras poor choices.
Edit: found a review: http://www.spin.com/articles/lou-reed-unleashes-metal-machine-music-nyc but our performance had an extra sax person who was a friend of Lou Reeds. These reviews always disappoints from my actual experience and I wonder if this really helps a magazine when it's not helpful critique but I suppose without a good review; they alienate the talent... Double edge sword.