Saturday July 21st, 2012
By Peace, Love & Apple Pie
Ray Davies came back for a rare live appearance where he featured a terrific range of his music from solo and a large amount of his KINKS material. It was a special show where Ray started out with a short acoustic set then brought out the 88′s to be his full backing band. The 88′s also opened up for Davies in a fantastic set where though they are from Los Angeles, they have full Garage British rock influence.
The last time Ray had appeared in LA was at Clive Davis’s Annual Pre-Grammy Gala, but that performance was a bit more sad with Whitney Houston passing away just hours prior in the very same Beverly Hilton. The special Pre-Grammy performance for Ray was amazing, doing just a short set of Kinks material and rocking for a star studded and industry room, albeit on a sad night where even Clive was in shock from the day’s tragedy. But Ray was in top form and honored musical showmanship history and “The Show Must Go On.” It was special with Elvis Costello joining Ray.
No sadness at the Wiltern, Ray’s full show was a wonderful trip down memory lane with some great creative diversity, humor and even showed his funky old side and more. Strangely, no special guests for Ray in Los Angeles. His recent album SEE MY FRIENDS is fantastic, but bridged Ray with many artists his music has influenced, but no moments on stage with any other artists. The only other thought of a special guest was Ray amusingly channeling Johnnie Cash in part of a song. It was funny, but very hard to obscure the British accent Ray has. Davies is one of the true Artist’s artist where his songs have brought joy to millions and while the luster on the Kink’s fame has lessened with time, the epic nature of the music to true fans has endured.
Ray’s brother Dave Davies’s health has been on decline, the Kinks had broken up years ago. Ray had been quoted as willing to reunite with Dave, but fans around the world have been left hanging with the reuniting likely not happening. Memories of the Kinks will have to remain as when Ray tours, it is a much more subdued affair than how Kinks concerts used to be. I miss them. The full electric rock, energy and power.
Ray’s show is more complex, subtle and at times he lets people in on his life, even at one moment ripping out his autobiography to read a few lines. It was an excellent trip down memory lane. From the early days of the kinks to their substantial Arista years. Which Ray touched upon with some great songs. He even went over how it was hard after they got banned from America for 4 years. Come Dancing as a big hit. Honestly, if you examine their catalog from the Seventies through the Eighties, it was a stellar era for the Kinks where the Davies brothers engaged amazing hooks and brilliant albums. So hearing Low Budget, Come Dancing, Celluloid Heroes was fantastic.
If you know the music or don’t, the music of Ray Davies and The Kinks is some of the best British rock ever. Really an epic band that doesn’t get the acclaim in the US that it ought to. Sadly the concert missed playing Lola one of their biggest hits. There is good news however, Ray has a new album coming and will be touring again soon.
Also, if you get a chance to check out the 88′s do, they are a great band that could use some more fans!
Here are some clips on Youtube to enjoy and get a sense of how Ray really did a great job of interacting and talking to the crowd, then even rocking out to bring it to better heights.
I Need You
This Is Where I Belong
Dedicated Follower of Fashion
In a Moment
A Long Way from Home
Lola (Tease) (very disappointing because they didn’t play the full song anywhere in the show)
Dead End Street
‘Til the End of the Day
Where Have All the Good Times Gone?
I’m Not Like Everybody Else
20th Century Man
You Really Got Me
All Day and All of the Night