Monday, June 10, 2013

Love My Way: Saluting the New Wave of Classic Rock

In the last 28 days I've attended concerts by Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, Cheap Trick, Urge Overkill, Limp Bizkit, They Might Be Giants, Blue Öyster Cult and the Psychedelic Furs.   Scheduling conflicts kept me away from performances by the Smithereens and Greg Ginn's Black Flag.

With the possible exception of They Might Be Giants and Soundgarden, these bands are well past their artistic and/or commercial primes.  And while I'm far more interested in contemporary sounds than in music from past decades, I enjoyed all but one of these nostalgia-fueled events.  A ranking of the shows in the order of my appreciation of each performance follows.

1. Limp Bizkit Ticket price: $32.  Audience: 800.  Look, I'm not particularly fond of Limp Bizkit, but there was no denying the electrifying nature of its performance at the Granada.

2. They Might Be Giants Ticket price: $24.  Audience: 500.  I have great memories of seeing They Might Be Giants and Poi Dog Pondering at the Grand Emporium on Halloween in 1988.  TMBG is an even better band 25 years later.

3. The Psychedelic Furs Ticket price: $13.65.  Audience: 800.  As Tim Finn's review of last night's concert suggests, the band's enthusiasm was infectious. 

4. Blue Öyster Cult Ticket price: free. Audience: 3,000.  The oldest band in this grouping opened its headlining performance at Old Shawnee Days with the proto-speed metal classic "The Red & the Black".  Aside from dodgy drum and bass solos, the underrated band's 90-minute set remained taut.   BOC deserve to be as revered as Judas Priest, Kiss and Motörhead.

5. Cheap Trick Ticket price: $50.  Audience: 500.  Cheap Trick has returned to its roots.  The band played early influential jams like "Heaven Tonight" with childlike glee. 

6. Alice In Chains Ticket price: $50.  Audience: 40,000.  Alice In Chains' headlining appearance at Rockfest was a slick, by-the-numbers effort.  The songs are great but the polished approach was too slick for me.

7. Urge Overkill Ticket price: free.  Audience: 500.  Like a poor man's version of Cheap Trick, this woulda-shoulda-coulda band played with exuberance. 

8.  Soundgarden Ticket price: $40.  Audience: 3,000.  Soundgarden is my favorite of these eight bands, but their concert was spoiled by nightmarish sound. 

While I'm not too cool to appreciate REO Speedwagon, Styx and Ted Nugent, I passed on their triple-bill appearance at Starlight Theatre last month.  The new and surprisingly vital face of classic rock with roots in the '80s, '90s and 00's has overtaken the previous generations of rock and rollers. 

Chad Kassem and his Salina-based Acoustic Sounds are featured in a The New York Times story about the vinyl resurgence.  

The newly announced Buzz Beach Ball concert doesn't replace Kanrocksas- it lacks the hip hop and R&B acts I was most eager to see at the ill-fated festival- but it boasts a pretty darn impressive lineup nonetheless.

As evidenced by this telling fan footage of the Shy Boys, people standing near the stage would not STFU at the Crossroads Summer Block Party last weekend. 

Damir Out Loud consists of "eight Berlin-based musicians from five different countries."  The band's new Graduation Day album is RIYL Balkan brass bands, Bobby Hutcherson, ECM. 

King Khan & the Shrines' "Born to Die" is mindblowingly great.  RIYL: Cream, Nuggets, Ty Segall.

Who doesn't love Wayne Coyne?

A video for Dessa's "Call Off Your Ghost" was released today.  RIYL: Ani DiFranco, Doomtree, Alanis Morissette. 

I can't wait to hear the new album by David Murray Infinity Quartet featuring Macy Gary and Gregory Porter.  Also out this week are new releases from Joseph Arthur, The Black Dahlia Murder, Black Sabbath, Boards of Canada, Marc Cary, Children of Bodom, Davell Crawford, Jason Isbell, Chrisette Michele, Aoife O'Donovan, Gary Peacock and Marilyn Crispell, Carmen Souza and Hezekiah Walker.

Kansas City Click: The Riot Room hosts Lord Huron on Monday.

David Ramirez appears at the Czar Bar on Tuesday.

David Nail sings at Kanza Hall on Wednesday.

Gee Watts hits the Czar Bar on Thursday.

(Original image by There Stands the Glass.)


bgo said...

I wish both Wayne Coyne and I were 17 again and dropping acid together.

Happy In Bag said...

Wayne is a living, breathing reminder that age ain't nothing but a number.