Saturday, August 19, 2006

1973 Redux

I saw the New York Dolls last night at the South Street Seaport. When it comes to great shows, I'm a fan not a critic, so about all I can say is that they were fucking great.

This was no lame-ass reunion bullshit. This was a killer fucking rock & roll band. The crowd was huge and into it, even singing loudly along with the chorus of "Pills," a Janis Joplin cover, and "Human Being." The band looked great from a distance. In retrospect I was surprised at Syl Sylvain's talent on guitar. I guess it wasn't Johnny Thunders playing all of those solos. Steve Conte was good on the other guitar and the new bass player and drummer rocked like the days of yore. Johansen was energetic and clearly enjoying himself. His vocals and harmonica playing were strong.

The stuff off the new album fit right in with the old stuff, which was incedible cause that almost never happens. There was no let down in the energy of the crowd or the quality of the show. Someone unfamiliar with the Doll's catalogue wouldn't have been able to tell the difference. "Punishing World" was particularly great. A rousing "Dance Like a Monkey" ended the main part of the show. My only disappointment was that they didn't play "Running Around."

And some of the old stuff was transcendental. I wasn't around to see any live shows in 1973, but I've seen Johansen perform a lot of these songs in solo shows and they're all on the DVD from the London reunion show, but none of that was remotely as good as last night's show. They did the aforementioned "Pills," which had the crowd screaming, the show started out with "Looking for a Kiss," then there were such standards as "Jet Boy" and "Puss N' Boots." The first encore was an ecstatic version of "Personality Crisis" and the second was a killer "Human Being." The crowd would have happily stayed for the rest of the catalogue, but unfortunately the show was over.

To repeat what I said in the post below, I haven't heard Rock & Roll like that for ages. Even back then shows like that were few and far between.