The chilly December night at Variety Playhouse began with a welcome warm-up from Locksley–the Brooklyn-invasion mod squad who kicked off the evening quite well for their young fans and the Ray Davies crowd. Groovy backbeats and garage-rock guitars dominated the band's hits: "All Over Again", "Why Can't I Be You" (not The Cure song), and "Don't Make Me Wait"–the title track from their 2008 cd. The opening set left the crowd happily infused with Locksley's fresh energy and eager to hear more…
As the lights dimmed, Ray Davies and guitarist Bill Shanley took the stage and perched upon barstools for an acoustic set featuring selections from The Kinks huge catalog as well as the British legend's solo career. Nearly every song was accompanied by a dedication or backstory from Davies, whose light-hearted and intimate rapport with the audience brought about a "VH1: Storytellers" atmosphere.
The show started off with a few Kinks favorites: “Till The End Of The Day,” “Sunny Afternoon” and “Dedicated Follower Of Fashion” (introduced as “an old English folksong”). Crowd participation was encouraged, and soon the fans were singing along and clapping, hips swinging to the1960's classics.
Several of Ray Davies own experiences living in New Orleans were highlighted in his solo ballad, “The Tourist.” But the most original anecdote of the evening belonged to ”The Morphine Song," which Davies had written about his bizarre recovery at a NOLA hospital under the tender care of Nelson and Star (two colorful local caregivers). The main set concluded with "See My Friends," "Tired of Waiting," and a dedication for “All Day And All Of The Night” to his brother with a fond and spirited insight into their collaboration.
Rock generations joined together for an encore performance at the end of the night when both Ray Davies and Locksley shared the stage, launching into “You Really Got Me”, “Victoria” and “Lola.” The pairing was complimentary and extremely well done, and the big smiles on the musicians' faces revealed the joy in every moment.
Category: Live Reviews