Ray Davies bashes 'em out
I didn’t think Ray Davies could be any more fun than he was at the Commodore in 2006, but I was wrong. Tonight’s show at the Vogue was every inch the triumph we witnessed, drank, partied, and sang along to the last time he was here, with the difference being that the 69 year-old rocker seemed even more invigorated this time, possibly because he had the fine LA power poppers the 88 behind him. They rocked the shit out of “20th Century Man”—possibly a high point, but we’re splitting hairs—and always kept things properly ragged for the former Kink.
Davies sits just to the left of being legendary. If you go see Paul McCartney or the Stones, you’ll get an ultrapolished showbiz event with a frosty buffer between you and the not-quite-real figures on stage. Davies is kind of in your face, plays much smaller venues, is very funny (“We’ll play lots of great songs tonight, and a few terrible ones,” he said), sort of reckless, enjoys a drink, and he generally comes off as a slightly mad person who happened to write the following songs, all of which were played tonight:
“I Need You”, “Autumn Almanac”, “Dedicated Follower of Fashion” (complete with second verse sung in the style of Johnny Cash, oddly enough), a momentous “Sunny Afternoon”, an even bigger “Where Have All the Good Times Gone”, “Till the End of the Day”, “I’m Not Like Everybody Else”, "Dead End Street”, “Celluloid Heroes”, “Come Dancing” (performed for the first time tonight), and “In a Moment” from 2007’s Working Man's Café.
For the record, Davies didn’t play “Waterloo Sunset”, “Set Me Free”, or “See My Friends”, and then he only teased us with one verse of “Victoria” and a mere bar of “Lola”. But also for the record, it’s not like anybody was disappointed with this show. And, yes, at the end they bashed out “You Really Got Me” and “All Day and All of the Night”—both still indestructible. After wrapping up his encore with “Low Budget”, Davies looked at the crowd and said, “Soft sails into the sunset for everybody,” or something. Fuck knows what he meant, but it sounded beautiful in the moment.
You can follow Adrian Mack's contribution to the lobotomizing techno-nightmare known as Twitter at @AdrianMacked.