Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Concert Review: Ray Davies @ Chicago Theatre, Chicago 04-01-08

By Myche J

So I like a lot of different kinds of music, and go to different kinds of shows. To date, I’ve always mentally limited my postings to those of the hard rock/metal genres. So I really had no intention of reporting on this show here. But something happened towards the end of this show that has made me re-evaluate this thinking. And the fact of the matter is that this is “Hooks So Big”, so we left it pretty general…

Ok, just a little background. I like the Kinks, but I’m not like an insane rabid fan. I’ve been listening to the album “Lola Versus Powerman And The Money-Go-Round” for about 20 years and it’s one of my favorites. I also have the albums from around that time: “Arthur: Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire”, “Something Else”, and “The Village Green Preservation Society”. I think they write great songs, and they are probably a little underrated as they will always drop to the bottom of the list of the major British Invasion in most people’s eyes. But I’ve really focused my attention on their output from 1967 – 1970.

So I had started listening to the Kinks quite a bit when it was announced that Ray Davies was coming around. I figured it was a sign or something, and decided to go. Considering it was at the Chicago Theatre and knowing Mr. Davies is in his mid-60’s (and supporting a new solo album), I also figured it would be a pretty laid-back affair.

My first mistake was forgetting to bring my ear plugs. Right off the bat Ray and band were rocking pretty damn hard and loud. It kind of took me aback. He ended up playing for 2.5 hours with a 20 minute intermission. He really looked to be enjoying himself and was very appreciative of the audience throughout. I like the songs off his new solo album, so all-in-all a very good show.

Now, I’ve never really been that into some of the older Kinks songs (pre-1967). I certainly respect those songs, but I never felt the need to have them in my collection. But here’s where things got interesting for me at the show. He goes into a rousing rendition of “All Day And All Of The Night”, a song that I would have never thought twice about before. But I was just hit right over the head with it last night! First, I think they played it very well and inspired, and cranked it up a notch – no doubt about it. But what really came over me was the simplicity of the song. There’s nothing all that complicated with it, but it just flat out rocks! Talk about Hooks! He continued along this vein with “You Really Got Me” and “Victoria”, and continued to bowl me over. In its simplicity, it all sounded so refreshing to me. And I knew this going in, but damned if "Lola" is one of the best crafted rock songs of all time...

The show made me realize that from time to time I think we all should just get back to the basics of rock. It all started out very pure and simple, and years later it still rocks. It has stood the test of time for a reason. It is, after all, all about the Hook, right? So I urge you, take a step back every now and then. Dig down to the roots to understand how we got to where we are today. Spin some classics. Go see music legends live. Keep that old shit alive!!!


Anonymous said...

I am an unabashed Ray Davies/ Kinks fan, but to my credit my tastes in music are very broad, and I try to be open-minded as far as new music is concerned.

The concert last night was a very enjoyable one, and I have to agree with the blogger that Ray and group played exceptionally well to an audience that was very enthusiastic to start with.

What distinguishes Mr. Davies output is the quality of his songwriting, and his ability to strike the right chord (no pun intended in getting his songs across to an audience. The simplicity and energy of "You Really Got Me", the smug British attitude of "The Tourist", and the slightly whimsical, slightly nostalgic air of "Sunny Afternoon", are good examples of this.

I was 11 years old when The Kinks had their first hits, and remember seeing them perform on one of the TV POP shows of the time (Hullabaloo or Shindig). So I am not exactly a youngster. I sat next to a young woman who was very much into the concert. During the show's intermission, I asked the young woman to clue me in to performers of her generation who were writing/ performing music of the caliber of what we had just seen.

She could not come up with any names.

Myche said...

Thanks for the comment and for stopping by, anonymous!

Mark said...

How funny. My favorite Kinks song is "all day and all of the night"

mgarrity6 said...

Having been a casual Kinks listener all my life I mentioned to my then 17 year old son that I like the Kinks. for christmas of '06 he got me "ultimate collection" and was hooked after that. Since he was getting into Bowie I had him listen to some Kinks. flash forward 15 months and the two of us sat and watched a music legend. After the show I asked him to compare it to one of the many shows he has seen. "not possible" was his great response. A memory I will never forget. On a side note try listening to "days" with your oldest child who is off at college and ready to fly the coup. A little weepy

Anonymous said... is very informative. The article is very professionally written. I enjoy reading every day.
payday advance loan
faxless payday loans