The Black Cat, Washington DC
June 18, 2004
By CHRIS GHIARDI
Photo of Michael Davis by KITTY KOWALSKI
I went to the DKT/MC5 show at the Black Cat club on 14th Street with four friends,all of whom I have played music with here in DC, including lots of Detroit rock.
One of them I have known since about 1979 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and he played drums for a while in Destroy All Monsters.I suppose I should admit I never saw the MC5 back in the day - but I did hear "Kick Out the Jams" uncensored on WHMC-AM when it first was release. Likewise, "Back in the USA" which got heavy airplay upon release on the same radio station, outside of DC. I attended many shows by the aftermath bands, including Kramer's Kreamers. I saw just about every Sonic's Rendezvous Band show in the A2 area. I caught Destroy All Monsters,Motor City Bad Boys.Wayne Kramer's Air Raid, various solo Wayne shows, the Smith & Smith AIDS benefit and the Rob Tyner MC4 memorial appearance
I also preserved a recording off an open reel tape of a band named after a John Coltrane tune with three members of the 5 (there's a long story there). For what it's worth, I've played guitar for over 30 years, copped plenty from Fred and Wayne. I had no problem with the Levi's deal and think the release of "MC5:ATT" would benefit all concerned.
Now that this lengthy prologue is out of the way....the DTK/MC5 show in DC was great. I thought there was quite a large turnout with a large percentage of younger folks and lots of attractive young girls.Not sold out but full.
Main support Cobra Verde was pretty decent.
The DKT/MC5 opened with the drone intro and the song "Tonite" with Marshall Crenshaw singing lead, just slightly restrained; not quite full throttle.They played pretty much full bore after the first tune, covering the full gamut of songs from all three major labelLPs, as well as "I Can Only Give You Everthing" sung by Mike Davis and the Grande era Ray Charles tune "I Believe to My Soul", which Mark Arm sang.
After all the early reviews I expected to dislike Evan Dando but I thought he sang well and there were no problems with forgotten lyrics or distracting
mannerisms.Mark Arm had a stronger stage presence and a rougher vocal style and did fine also.
The vocalists cycled on and off stage as needed. The one thought I had was that Rob Tyner was a heck of a singer to hold his own on top of the backup of the MC5.
I thought Marshall Crenshaw was a surprisingly good fit, although his choice in hats could use a little input.Generally Marshall held down the rhythm
work with occasional cool little bits leaving Wayne free to play really fine solos.
Mike Davis and Dennis Thompson were great of course.
There was plenty of foot stomping and ass shaking and lots of audience singing along. My voice gave out half way through "Rama Lama Fa Fa Fa".
My main complaint was that there were only two encores and they didn't play quite as many tunes as listed for the Detroit show. Afterwards, the DKT three worked the merch table doing plenty of signing etc.I hung with my buddy Rob and we had a chance to say hello to MD backstage, who was gracious as always.
Could this compare to the MC5 in their prime? Fucked if I know. It was a pretty great show and what I hear from folks in NYC and Boston those were great also.I was sorry I had to nix going to the Philly show due to family illness.
3/4 (Yuengling Porters, rather than Rolling Rock)
DKT-MC5 World Tour dates can be found here. Australians can win a double pass to their Sydney and Melbourne shows here.
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