I’ve always liked these guys, been a fan for years. I wanna say at least 15, if not longer… I even get autographed Christmas cards in the mail from them every year and I don’t even know why. I’m guessing it has something to do with doing The Wayback Machine all of those years. Anyway, I finally got a chance to catch ‘em live here in St. Louis over the weekend when Little Steven’s hyped-up, circus-style “garage” tour made its way into town. The fuckin’ Kings STOLE the show. Seriously. And I don’t think I’m being biased. They were just on fire. Greg Prevost was all over the audience, dragging his mic cord behind him, then back up on stage swinging the mic stand around, narrowly decapitating those who dared to stand in the front row, and then WHACKING it up against a big beam on the ceiling directly overhead. Kicking, rolling, jumping, prancing, pouting, sneering… this was rock’n'roll, motherfuckers. The real deal, and they showed everyone which band had come to really knock us flat on our collective ass. The Charms sucked big hairy ’70s rawks, The Supersuckers were boring cowpunk/metalbilly (the hoosiers loved ‘em, though, naturally), and the New York Dolls were better than expected (considering they’re just a shell of their former selves with David Johansen and Sylvain Sylvain being the only original members left… well, Syl joined the band in ’72 after Rick Rivets left, but that’s early enough). I didn’t care too much for their new material, but the classics were done right (“Pills”! “Trash”! “Lookin’ for a Kiss”! “Puss ‘n’ Boots”! “Jet Boy”! “Bad Girl”! etc.), and it was great to hear them played live. Johansen looked good, too, surprisingly (he’ll turn 57 in a few weeks), and the rest of his band did a great job. Sure, I would have much rather seen the old band with Thunders and Killer Kane, but that wasn’t gonna ever happen, so this was definitely the next-best thing, and I’m VERY glad I didn’t decide to skip it. Oh, and it was really nice hangin’ out with Kings drummer Mike Boise and meeting guitarist Paul Morabito after their set, too.
As good as the Kings and the Dolls were, I gotta question the sound at Mississippi Nights. I’m not sure if the tour’s soundman was to blame, or the club, or Rolling Rock beer, or what, but it was a low-end heavy, thumpin’ bass affair. Way too loud, too. And don’t give me that “if it’s too loud, you’re too old” line… this was too loud in the WRONG way. Loud like that boomin’ hoopty car with the thumpin’ bass in the trunk loud. Fuckin’ horrendous. If you’re gonna blast us away with your million dollar sound system, fine, but do it with more TREBLE, dumbasses! This is ROCK ‘N’ ROLL, not hippity hop.
BIG crowd, too, including a lot of aged, grey-haired rockers and rollers. I almost felt like a kid again, haha. I don’t think it sold out, but there were a lot of people there. Lots of familiar old faces that I haven’t seen in years, and a few I hadn’t seen in over ten years! Yep, the Dolls show pulled ‘em out of the woodwork. I wish ONE TENTH of these people would come out and support some of the other local rock’n'roll shows and not just come out when there’s a big-name tour hitting town. Something as little as that can make a big difference between living in a town with a shitty music scene and a GREAT one.
The go-go dancers? A joke. Sure, nice to look at (esp. the brunette!), but their moves sucked. These girls need to learn how to SHAKE IT, not just move around acting like they’re dancing with a drink in their hand at some singles bar.
I drank a free bottle of Rolling Rock, shared a pitcher of something good from the bar with Bill, and then drank about five bottles of PBR. Needless to say, I was a bit lit, but not too bad. Woke up the next day with a slight hangover and a bad case of hairy beer tongue, not to mention a moptopfull of cigarette stench (I could even smell it in the shower… singin’ “I’m gonna wash that smoke right outta my hair!”). But it was totally worth it. These kinds of shows don’t come along all that often… which makes me wonder why some of you (I won’t mention names) missed it. I mean, what the fuck? Yeah, $20 was kinda steep, but it’s not like you have to pay that much to see a show like this that often… Oh well, whatever.
All in all considered, I thought it was a great show. We missed the opening band (The Misses), but that wasn’t entirely unintentional.