Review - Ray Davies, Paramount Theatre, Denver, Colorado

From: Damion Johnston
Date: July 9, 2006

Hello All!

Here's my report from attending the Denver Show. I won't be able to do it justice possibly, but I'll try.

Brilliant! Fantastic! As much as a fan of Ray Davies and The Kinks could want from the man and his current band. As has been told before, just about two hours worth of the gift of great music, splendid storytelling and a powerful performance.


The Concert In Denver

I'm Not Like Everybody Else
Where Have All the Good Times Gone

RD: "This next song is about redemption, and guilt and going on"

After the Fall
All She Wrote

RD: "I think we've got a lot of friends here! We had some great shows at Red Rocks"

20th Century Man
*Oh, my gosh. WOW! What energy and enthusiasm Ray is singing with, the band is playing with and the audience is singing with. Mark Johns SHREDS!!!*

RD: "Big transition here. From angry rocker to serious songwriter." As RD moves from standing to sitting on a stool. Talk about his sister and how he had to, as the younger brother accompany/chaperone his older sister when she'd go to the movies with her boyfriends. They would go to a lot of westerns with all the great American cowboy stars: Randolph Scott and John Wayne. I later understood that she'd go to the movies to escape her "place" in life as a woman in England in the 50's. There was no place for her to go/grow. Her favorite movie was "Oklahoma". This song, off of Muswell Hillbillies is a tribute to my sister Rosie."

Oklahoma U.S.A.

The band went off stage leaving Ray and Mark playing acoustic versions of:

Sunny Afternoon
Dead End Street
*Excellent singing by the audience on both songs. Not the most vigorous "Dead Ends!" though. The band comes back on stage during Dead End Street. Marc plays an incredible bluesy, dixie, jazzy guitar to Dead End Street...WOW and the band continues to jam in this "vein" while Ray changes his shirt.*

Next Door Neighboor
*"...with a Colorado blonde..."*

RD: "People are always running away from something"
*Karin is introduced and joins the band. The one flaw in the show. Not enough Karin (not what you're thinking--"You've been watching too much television.") in the vocal mix, all night*

Run Away From Time
*Man! Has he still got it! Great performance of the new song.*

Over My Head Extended Instrumental "chaos version" Intro to...
Things Are Gonna Change and RD speak/sings about denial, depression & "Oh, my God. What have I become!" and then the song.
*Karin out, by the way*

RD: "In my never ending quest for more material to write about. I moved to America.." then speaks of the songs all coming before his life changed (the incident) and Katrina. While in NO he made a lot of observations about tourists. He then poked fun at the English Tourists...of which he has been one
The Tourist
The song is so insightful (as usual, eh?) and ROCKETH MIGHTILY!
*His lil' cassette recorder that he records the sounds of whereever he travels*

All Day and All of the Night
Brilliant! Has this song E V E R lost it's potency?!? No, frickin' way!
*Our poor crowd, though--so old AND out of touch with "Ravin'!". Though, we sang splendidly throughout (I'm serious, I thought we sounded great throughout the night. On pitch and close on rhythms.) we didn't know what to do with our bodies... stand-up... sit-down... don't do nothin'? We finally, by the end of the night did stay on our feet and wiggled and swayed a little.*

RD: "This song, I wrote for Dave." He then spoke with a lot of fondness and seemed to me, longing, for his brother. And how they kinda grew off in different directions and missed each other growing-up...though they were growing up IN The Kinks.

*Karin came out*
A Long Way From Home

RD: Spoke of his musical heroes. Again, addressed the issue of running away from people and things. "One person that you can never run away from is yourself..."
The Getaway

Tired of Waiting for You
*I think Mr. Davies was sending us a message. We were all singing along; but not quite getting the message.*

Till the End of the Day
*As soon as I heard this song I knew what Ray was getting at! I'm sure the folks behind me didn't appreciate it to well at first; but sometimes a man's gotta be a man and just stand-up for what he believes! And for the rest of the show we were all on our feet.*

Set Me Free with the audience, a capella
*A thing of beauty, indeed*

A Gallon of Gas instrumental intro to...
You Really Got Me Swamp Blues with hints of Creole Version

*Of course THE story of how in his mind he heard it like this (like they were playing it) but whilst he was tinkling the melody on the ivories in the living room, Dave came in from the kitchen and said "What the f*ck is that?" It's this new song I'm working on: "Girl, you really got me now. You got me so I don't know what I'm doin'"...and Dave fired-up the little green amp and the rest is Rock'n'Roll history*
*Awesome, awesome, awesome. The arraingment, with the accordian part (and the playing on the accordian) was brilliant, par excellence, totally awesome, spectacular...whatever you want to say!*

Ray and the band started walking off-stage and I had to get out my plates. No plates had been tossed at this point. I wasn't sure if they were going to make it. Being eleven rows back and not having much experience tossin' plates in public venues I had a moment of trepidation; but knew it had to be done...and with all y'alls support and Frank sending me some good vibrations...

...I threw plate after plate on the stage. Nine or so left my hand and all nine made the stage. Their trajectory was pure and true as if guided by angels. Ray almost caught one (I'll have to forgive him since I know he's more of a footballer and though he's got great hands--for the guitar--he's not a wide receiver or an outfielder). I only saw one other plate thrown by someone else.

My wife was trying to hide under her seat, chagrined to her shins, that her husband was the only one doing this. But, she did happen to look at our friends behind us; and she noted that Joy was mesmerized watching every plate glide to the promised land.

Encore One, or Two?...who can count at a time like this?
Ray came out first and did a little finger picking on acoustic: C D E and it sounded vaguely familar (hee, hee, hee) and then he started pounding on that ol' Ovation:

"Ba, Ba, Babababa, Baba, Ba, Ba...
...I met her in a club..."
Our friend, Mr. Davies. Had a few "artistic" moments and flubbed a few verses. But, it was fantastic as it only seemed to bother him momentarily when he did it and no one else cared and kept singing at the top of their lungs.

Low Budget
Excellent! A fitting end. Lots of audience participation.
"...excuse my shoes, they don't quite fit...I bought 'em in Chicago..."

C'est Finis!

Went around to the tour bus. Waited for him and the band. He was visibly spent and they had a van set to take him straight away to the hotel; but he saw people were waiting (maybe 25) and yelling for him. So he quickly signed for us. My wife got my copy of X-Ray signed; and I opted for him signing the cover of the Guitar Player songwriting special with Ray on the cover from 1998 over my Kink Kronikles album(s).

Splendid Show Mr. Davies!
You are the Best!
You and your Band!