Review - Dave Davies, March 25, 2004, Powerhouse Pub, Folsom, California

From: Allan Hirsch
Date: 27 Mar 2004

Dave's first club appearance in the Sacramento area in five years was a high-energy, 90-minute show at the tiny Powerhouse Pub, an earthy blues bar in the historic downtown of Folsom, a one-time gold-mining burg that has morphed into a bustling suburb east of Sacramento. (The town is also the site of Folsom prison of Johnny Cash fame.) Dave apparently had only scheduled the March 25 show the week before. There had been virtually no publicity in the local press resulting in a relatively small audience of maybe 125 people. I arrived about an hour before showtime and got a front-row seat at the edge of the dance floor, about 20 feet from the stage.

The four-piece band was tight and rocking throughout a 16-song repertoire that was dominated by 1960s Kinks favorites rather than Dave's own compositions. The playlist was:

Til the End of the Day
I Need You
Creeping Jean
Gallon of Gas Blues/You're Looking Fine
Tired of Waiting for You
Set Me Free
See My Friends
Mindless Child of Motherhood
Dead End Street
Last of the Steam-Powered Trains
Death of A Clown
Bug/Life After Life
Living on A Thin Line
All Day and All of the Night
Picture Book
You Really Got Me

Highlights of the show for me were:

Til the End of the Day: It was wonderful to see Dave and his band walk up on stage in such an intimate setting and start the show with the Kinks' great power-chord opening for this song. It's another reminder of why being a Kinks fan is so special.

Creeping Jean: The band really rocked out on this number.

Gallon of Gas Blues/You're Looking Fine: I know Dave has been performing this for a number of years, but it shows off his blues-rock guitar skills so well. The band really nailed this one.

See My Friends -- After dedicating the song "to my friends in the spirit world," Dave opened the song with an extended guitar solo, and then broke into another great guitar solo in the middle of the song. He has taken the song and made it his own, adding to what the Kinks had done with it.

Last of the Steam-Powered Trains -- Another sizzling blues-rocker. If Howlin' Wolf is anywhere near Dave's spirit world, I'm sure he liked it, too.

Bug/Life After Life -- I really liked what Dave did with this. Bug has as much energy and bite to it as anything Dave has written, and it is a worthy addition to his repertoire. Dave relied on tapes to get the synthesizer sound on Life After Life, but he supplied the energy for this extended song with his own guitar solos. The band showed off its skill by keeping everything tight and energetic. The CD version of the song was very much a studio creation, but Dave adapted it very well and has turned it into an excellent song for a live performance. I hope he keeps playing it.

You Really Got Me -- Has it really been 40 years since this song was a monster hit?

The only downside of the show for me was the fact that perhaps half the people in attendance appeared to be Thursday night regulars at the bar who had little interest in Dave and his place in rock 'n roll history. While the Kinks fans intently followed every note Dave played, the regulars played pool and went outside onto the smoking patio as if it were just another local band performing. Nobody introduced Dave at the start of the show; if someone had introduced Dave and given even a 15-second synopsis of his Hall of Fame career, perhaps some of the regulars might have made more of an effort to listen. Or perhaps not. It was their loss, and the Kinks fans certainly enjoyed the show. Now that Dave is a fellow Californian, I hope he won't wait another five years before playing a show in the capital city of his adopted state.