Review - The Kinks, June 19, 1987, Vaughan, ON and April 4, 1988 in Toronto, ON

Date: Aug. 19 2011
From: Kenji Fuse

Kinks Concert Reviews

Friday June 19, 1987
The Kinks
Kingswood Music Theatre
Canada's Wonderland
Vaughan, ON, Canada

Monday April 4, 1988
The Kinks
Massey Hall
Toronto, ON, Canada

I thought I saw the Kinks for the first time in spring, 1987 at Massey Hall in Toronto, but I can't find any record of this. So I guess I first saw them at 'Canada's Wonderland', as we called it, a plastic-amusement-park-cultural-wasteland in what is whitewashed somewhat with the more respectable moniker of "Kingswood Music Theatre'. Later, I would see photos from 1968, playing at similar soulless 'family-friendly' amusement parks in their Preservation Society rags, and looking utterly miserable. This time they seemed to enjoy themselves (or were they simply professional enough to pretend?). As great as they were ("They're soooo tight", enthused Kara's chum Gavin), and with a respectable audience of over 7000, the crass venue nevertheless made it hard for the Kinks to really work their magic. I swore never to go to any stadium arena show again. I remember hearing "It" for the first time at this show, the rest being stellar cuts off Think Visual (the execrable "Rock'n'Roll Cities notwithstanding) and the expected classic back catalogue. It was all executed in my least favourite Kinks style, the Arista/arena-era stadium sound, with a few exceptions; "It" featured a few female backup singers to great effect, reminiscent of Preservation and Soap Opera. But it was still a night with the Kinks!

The Massey Hall concert was something else altogether. I remember getting goose-bumps when Ray, a mere balcony drop away, waved and smiled at me (or so it seemed; maybe it was the cute hottie behind me?), and to this day part of me thinks he was taking the piss with his cool-older-brother-beaming-like-an-idiot-or-high-on-whack attitude, but it was what I thought a Kinks show should be, and it made me curse my youth and missing the heady garage/debutante days of the early-mid '60's. Dave was fantastic this night. Now it was his turn to give me goose-bumps with an almost-solo performance (lead guitar AND vocals) of a beautiful and under-appreciated song, Too Much On My Mind.
Wonderful stuff.