Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Live Review: Ray Davies @ Taste of Chicago 7/4/06

I remember the time when I first heard The Kinks. Aside from their radio hits “Lola,” and “You Really Got Me” I hadn’t really heard what they had to offer the world. I didn’t truly experience them until after college when I came across a couple of pivotal albums: Arthur(Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire) and The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society. My first thought then was: Why wasn’t this band just as successful as the Beatles? The more albums I listened to, the more I saw the reflective spirit crossed with music that could just as easily take the form of melodic folk songs as they could catchy rock songs. So when you look at someone like Ray Davies, it’s impossible to just see simply a musician because this man has legendary status. Ray Davies, thankfully, isn’t the type of musician that turns his back on the history of his own music and refuses to play his old songs. In fact, he welcomed the nostalgia and it was clear that he still enjoys playing his Kinks material. He was also pretty vibrant while playing and while conversing. He tapes the environment of cities he’s in and he played some of Chicago back to us. He also asked us to be nice to him and make sure to invite him to BBQs, reassuring us that even though he didn’t eat meat, he’d come. He had the jumps and moves of a much younger man and it was hard to feel like the music was even dated at some points. He also had the support of another guitarist, a bassist, drummer, keyboardist and female backup singer on most tracks which worked nicely with both recent songs and old favorites. Although he did play solo material from his latest record, Other People’s Lives, he began his 90 minute long set with “Low Budget” and soon played a rocking version of “I’m Not Like Everybody Else” (one of my favorite songs, although I am most partial to “Rosie Won’t You Please Come Home”). One of the best songs he played stylistically was “Sunny Afternoon” because he stayed true to his soft and reflective original. He also stayed true to the way “All Day and All of the Night” as well as “You Really Got Me” were recorded and he made these rockers just as effectively loud and catchy as they were when released. It was a real honor to see not only him perform but to be in the presence of such an individual. -Review courtesy of Kirstiecat


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