Review - 17 July, 1995, The Bayou, Georgetown, Washington DCFrom: FredieD
Date: Wed, 19 Jul 95 12:20:43 -700
Subject: Kinks at the Bayou, Georgetown, Washington DC
Funny anecdote about how the tickets went on sale for the bayou show - since I live in Arlington, VA (just across the river from DC) I was very disappointed when the original tour list didn't include a show down here. So, dipping into my piggy bank, I planned a weekend at the NJ shore with a stopover in Valley Forge for the Sunday show. On the drive up on Friday, a local radio station had a really mellow ad that mentioned a "just announced" show at the Bayou on Monday night. So, I ended up calling DC ticketmaster from NJ, and paying their outrageous handling fees, for a show that was no more than 10 minutes from my house. Leave it to those KINKS to inconvenience their fans!!! As a few of us discussed at the show itself - they're like a really good friend who drives you absolutely crazy - like inviting you to a party that he is throwing in two nights and expecting you to drop everything and go. And we do!!
About the show - I think a little background is in order. Two years ago, during the Phobia mini-tour of the small clubs, the boys played the Bayou in what turned into a very ugly evening. The bayou is a very small, dark, and truly seedy club under an elevated highway in the Georgetown section of DC. Unlike the plush Valley Forge and Westbury Music Fairs, the bayou has a pretty small stage and a fairly sizable dancefloor that typically gets littered with empty bottles and a film of stale beer by the end of the shows. There is also a very low - and very close - balcony surronding the stage and dancefloor and performers can literally reach up and touch the people upstairs. Besides a couple of of stools and small cocktail tables in the back- that's all there is to this place - which usually features local grunge bands and folk acts. And, unlike the other venues, this is a bar in the true sense of the word, and the bands typically don't go onstage until 11:00 so the patrons can get fully drunk and stay until the 2:00 am closing. I think you get the picture.
Well, two years ago, the Kinks took the stage at close to midnight - an eternity after the opening act ended. Ray looked absolutely horrible!! Pale, long, disheveled, graying hair, sweating profusely. It truly killed me to watch my idol, who looked so young and energetic during the 1989 UK Jive tour - finally show signs of mortality. To make matters worse, the show lasted barely an hour and then they were gone - with no encores! Needless to say, the crowd was somewhat "displeased" with the brief performance and soon beer bottles came flying out of the balcony to the stage as a chorus of "boos" rose up from everywhere - a very frightening sight to those of us on the dancefloor. Ironically, the brief show sounded really good, the brothers seemed to enjoy playing together again, and they even included "Hatred" which I didn't at any of the 6 shows I saw later in the tour. As Erick informed me later (and as reported in the Washington Post in an insultingly short article) Ray had a very bad case of the flu that night and it was amazing that they played at all.
Even with that explanation, I approached Monday's show with some trepidation, fearing a very late night on an otherwise typical Monday (yes, folks, I'm no longer a college kid and "school nights" take on a different meaning now). After the opening act concluded her short set (note to the Valley Forge crowd - she didn't wear that same sexy halter top, but she looked just as good!!!) we were prepared for a long and drunken wait. Much to our surprise, that silly little musical introduction that starts the show began a little after 9:00!!! As the previously empty dance floor filled with a really young and clean cut looking crowd half his age, Ray came onstage and performed the standard acoustic opening. It was a little more special than usual, though, because the crowd was so loud singing along with the acoustic songs - particularly Dedicated Follower of Fashion - that even Ray seemed surprised and very pleased. Some of my friends think the volume was due to the close proxim! ity of the audience to the stage (unlike the theater in the round) but I'd like to take personal credit - along with my colleagues on the dancefloor. I'm sorry that I didn't write down every song, but it was the usual list. From the great lists you guys have sent to the homepage, it appears that the band has rehearsed about a show and a half worth of material and will only stray from it on very rare occassions. (and I'm sure that others will write in with the official list from this show!)
Overall, the show was a little different from Valley Forge - not as polished, or perfect, or "theatrical" - probably because of the smaller stage and different type of venue. But what it lacked in polish it more that made up for in raw energy and emotion. Ray and Dave were both really pumped and the crowd strained to touched them every time they came near the edge of the stage. Ray and Dave continued to enjoy each others company (thank god) and at one point, when ray cut in front Dave in the middle of a song to sing to "his" part of the crowd, Dave lifted his guitar behind ray's head as if to beat him with it while the crowd laughed along and urged him on! Could they finally be coming to terms with each other's personalities? Hope so. Dave was given the spotlight often (two solos on Low Budget) and each song had a really heavy, hard rock feel. If you guys hadn't noticed, they really haven't played a true "ballad" in either east coast show (I don't consider Celluloid a ballad). They also skipped a lot of the songs on the playlist which the roadies gave to us later: a list which included "Too Much on My Mind" presumably with Dave on vocal since he did it on the UK Jive tour. The constantly changing tone from one show to the next is the main reason I would even consider seeing them two nights in a row - and they didn't disappoint! With the energy, emotion, and really great stage presence of Ray and Dave, I couldn't help think about - in comparison - how anemic the Rolling Stones look right now (and how bad Jagger sounds) - and yet they are still selling out large arenas - go figure! But we like it this way, right?
There were some unexpected surprises:
- The opening full band number was Do It Again (following Ray's acoustic version)
- My camera getting confiscated (but that's another story)
- Ray ignoring the plates (and I hope you guys in the front who added songs will buy me a beer at the next show!) Ray read them and was pretty funny about it. My girlfriend handed him a small bouquet of flowers with a plate requesting "Act Nice and Gentle" Of course he didn't do it, but thanked her graciously anyway. Later, when it was time for apeman, he pretend to read it off a plate - and went into a really great calypso version with the crowd swaying like a human wave. Very cool. The plates do work for songs that are on their list - Death of a clown replaced living on a thin line for dave's solo song because of a request.
- Has anyone noticed that Ian Gibbons returned during the outdoor part of the Phobia tour after an absence during UK JIVE? And the band sounds a lot better since. He is really an unsung hero along with Jim Rodford. Bob Henrit's drumming seems more prominent now and he does some really new stuff on the revamped "Set Me Free".
- An incredible, raucous version of "It's Alright" with Ray wailing away more than ever and rushing to front of the stage as if he was going to start stage diving!!! at 51 years old!!!
- Ray, during Lola, spotting a really young (under 15, it seemed) girl near the front and singing directly too her - as she stared at him frightened to death!
- During the encore, a very strange blues number about going from Washington DC to Buffalo - totally different from the Philadelphia/Devon number the night before. I'm starting to think they improvise each night! Please, let's hear comments.
- Finally, the most surprising, and exciting, of all: Dave taking center stage to sing "Good Golly Miss Molly" - not on any playlist and ray not even onstage!!! The crowd went wild and the band members had grins from ear to ear!!!!! Outrageous!
See you all in the parking lot at Westbury M.F.
Date: Tue, 18 Jul 1995 15:04:12 -0400 (EDT)
From: Yoshitsugu Uemura
Subject: The Bayou show
- Stop Your Sobbing
- A Well Respected Man
- Dedicated Follewer of Fashion
- Sunny Afternoon
- You Really Got Me
- Do It Again
- Do It Again (whole band)
- Till The End of The Day
- Low Budget
- Sleep Walker
- Death of a Clown
- I'm Not Like Everybody Else
- Celluloid Heroes
- Welcome to Sleazy Town
- It's Alright (60's Version)
- Good Golly Miss Molly (Dave)
- All Day and All of the Night
- Washington D.C. Blues
- You Really Got Me
P.S. I finally listened to "Death of a Clown" LIVE!!
Date: Tue, 18 Jul 1995 18:27:21 -0400 (EDT)
From: "David M. Lowin"
Well Neil, you missed out. The show last night was fantastic. The kinks came on stage before 10:00 and stayed till about 11:30. Someone whom i met there said that he was also at the phobia Bayou show and he had heard that Ray had the flu and literally had to be carried on to the stage from the dressing room. That would explain alot, wouldn't it. Ray, once again mentioned an album, To the Bone, coming out later this year, so lets all hope and pray it's longer than the import. Here's a brief set list from memory and not in order
Started Out with ray acoustic
- Stop your Sobbing
- Sunny Afternoon
- YRGM (he stopped in the middle and said, "let's save that one for the band)
- Dedicated folower of Fashion
- Do it Again (Band came on in the middle)
E-mail Dave Emlen