2nd night, The Bowery Ballroom, New York City
June 15, 2004

Trocadero Theatre, Philadelphia
June 16, 2004


First, an open letter to Tim Hurley, who reviewed the Detroit show:


Tell me, did you ever see Rob Tyner or Fred Smith? Did you see Wayne in 1996 with Paul Ill and Brock Avery? If you did, I don't think you'd give this tour full points.

I n New York City, Evan Dando truly sucked. He was utterly inappropriate.

What you saw, I'm sure, was a 2/3 effort - although at 2/3, it still beats many, and perhaps most.

It could have been much better, if you had seen the real thing

The real thing was the greatest live band in the world , Everyone in the audience would have been soaking wet from dancing their ass off.

Your ears would be ringing from the roar of the crowd and your throat would be raw from screaming.

Absolute mayhem tribal stomp was the MC5 standard.

Nowadays, such extremes are not to be expected to re-happen.

But, having seen what Wayne could do in '96, and being totally reasonable in regards to the band members' ages, STILL, it hit only a 2/3, at most. Dando's silly presence brought the octane WAY down.

If you had never seen the real thing you wouldn't know how much better it could have been. If you had seen them , well what the fuck????

Evan Dando and Michael Davis in NYC.
Kity Kowalski photo

How can I write a review? To be any kind of journalist is to have some semblance of objectivity. For me, to be at a MC5 gig is utterly subjective, as part of the Detroit Diaspora. Sorry, it IS too much of an ask for me for it to be "only rock n roll".

Was this an attempted journey ( in my mind) to a home that I can't go back to ? Perhaps my expectation was colored by my recent witnessing of the WWII memorial dedication? NO here it is clear, The Stooges, so I hear played as expected. Total AWE, not just OK.

MC5 was more than rock 'n' roll - and I DON'T MEAN all that White Panther/John Sinclair BullShit AT ALL . It was the whole Detroit spirit of the late '60s and early '70s. The way music was with the people and that fighting and the love of each
other and more. Film ,sound, words can only describe its outer manifestation; We are as like an indigenous peoples, removed from our promised land.

And the MC5 were the point man in a war we lost.

So it was, at this war veteran's reunion we have the cutesy Evan Dandy, wearing the uniform and medals of our sacred dead and being his silly limp-wristed, cute self.

MC5 cute? FUCK OFF !!! That really sucked. Wayne - why?

ALL I WANTED REALLY WAS FOR THESE LATE '50s GUYS TO KICK THE GODDAMNED JAMS OUT, to their best ability, that?s all. No politics, no reminiscences.

THE JAMS FOR GODSAKE, you know KICK OUT THE JAMS OR GET THE FUCK OFF STAGE !!!: Detroit vs the World . Detroit vs New York City homo punk. Detroit vs UK.

Get it?

You show them what is what guys!!! And what ?He brings Dandy boy into the ring?

THE FUCK, why? Was this some misguided attempt to appeal to a younger audience?

It was like cracking open a old bottle of vintage wine and cutting it with sugar pop vodka. Why ?because it sells??? !!!


DKT-MC5 at the Bowery Ballroom. Kitty Kowalski photo

Music: Now let's be fair. Let's take age into consideration. Radio Birdman's Ron Keeley (circa 2003) took down Wayne in the sweat contention. Wayne was about 2/3 to 3/4 of the Wayne we saw in Australia in '96 with Paul Ill and Brock Avery. And Marshall Crenshaw ? Marshall Crenshaw didn't even break a sweat !!! Come on tell me he was sweating can ya ??? Well maybe a little from the lights.

When I saw the show at Philly , my expectations were lowered.

YES IT WAS worth seeing. "Skunk" was great, as was "Starship". It was great to see Dennis Thompson in action again. This whole tour is worth it for his sake. He deserves that joy of playing again most certainly.Yeah all three of them do, for the joy they all gave us.

Hopefully Dando will be dropped by the time they get to Sydney, and Deniz will certainly put a rocket up Wayne's ass. though he won't totally nullify the degrading effect of Dandy.

Even at 3/4 or 2/3 their capacity, DKT-MC5 is still something to see. (Fortunately, the greater half was not Dandy Boy). Mark Arm was good (that means full of his own good spirited fun). He was all the better next to Dando.

Bottom line: In Sydney, those of us from Detroit always just said that Birdman and the Visitors were mere, secondary effects of having seen the MC5 and other Detroit stuff.

The Real Thing? Too much to explain or believe - moreso after seeing such secondary, and tertiary effects recently. SO FOR THIS REASON, I ISSUE THIS WARNING TO THE DKT-MC5 ORGANIZATION AND THE PROMOTER: SYDNEY IS GOING TO HAVE SOME BIG EXPECTATIONS.

DKT-MC5 World Tour dates can be found here. Australians can win a double pass to their Sydney and Melbourne shows here.