It was kind of a last minute thing, but boy, am I glad we made the effort to see Ray Davies.
Originally I wanted to cover the show, his first in Vancouver since 2006 I believe, for my site, The Snipe News. But when the promoter (Perryscope) didn’t get back to us drastic measures were called for. Fortunately I noticed on Twitter that @weareperrsycope was giving away a pair of tickets. I RT’d, but knowing my girlfriend has all the luck (and more followers) when it comes to these things, I asked her to RT as well and voila!
We were on the beach (Wreck, but that’s another story) when we heard, so we didn’t have as much late-Friday-afternoon relaxing time as we would have liked. No matter; Davies put on a phenomenal show. He was backed up by second guitarist Bill Shanley (acoustic and electric) and, for a few songs, the opening band, L.A. power-pop quartet The 88.
This was the start of the songwriter’s West Coast North America 2012 tour, and I can promise that most if not all Kinks fans won’t be disappointed – as long as they’re not hoping for immaculate versions of Kinks klassics. Indeed, some of the songs approached garage-rock, with three electric guitars onstage for some tunes that appeared to have been, shall we say, under-rehearsed.
Still, Davies’ energy and charm, as well as The 88′s enthusiasm to be let loose on one of the best classic-rock catalogues ever, carried the show. Highlights for me included a rollicking version of “Where Have All the Good Times Gone”, a sweet “Come Dancing”, a sublime “Celluloid Heroes” and “Misfits” and even “You Really Got Me” – a played-and-covered-to-death number that I didn’t think I ever needed to hear again in my lifetime but which suddenly felt like we were witnessing the birth of the creation of the world, witnesses to the discovery of the Higgs Boson particle that underlies all rock ‘n’ roll.
Anyway. Davies only came out for one encore – “Low Budget”. We demanded more – I can’t remember the last time I was at a show where the audience kept up this noise level for this long – but it was not to be. It wasn’t enough, but then, he would have had to play all night.