Review - 17 July, 1995, The Bayou, Georgetown, Washington DC

From: 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:

Last of all, like many of you experience at other Kinks shows, it almost seemed like a family as I ran into guys I met during the Phobia tour - Erick and Vince - and the new additions I met this time - Dave and Anthony. I hope there is a formal Kinks convention some time so we won't have to wait for another tour!

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

Ray acoustic



That Ray did YRGM in his acoustic part surprised and excited me very much. The show was 1.5 hours long. (started at 9:00, ended at 10:30) Anyone taped that show, please e-mail 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"
Subject: Bayou
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

With Band

  • Do it again
  • Apeman
  • Sleazy town (I agree--enough already)
  • It's alright (Ray on Harmonica)
  • Sleepwalker (One of my faves)
  • Low budget (With long intro and outro)
  • I'm not like everybody else (Fantastic!!)
  • Death of a clown (Requested from the plates)
  • Good Golly miss Molly ( Dave on vocals)
  • Well Respected Man
  • All Day and All of the night
  • Some improvised blues song about being in D.C.
  • YRGM I'm sure i forgot one or two. But that's basically it Nothing from Phobia. Very little from the Arista years. A tiny venue and a great show. Hopefully a new album release will mean another tour coming around soon.

    Dave L.
    E-mail Dave Emlen