The MC5 in Seattle
October 17, 2018 04:56PM
What a thoroughly badass show! It looks as though the all-star lineup for the "MC50 Tour" has changed a time or two since it began. Wayne Kramer shared the stage last night with guitarist Kim Thayil (Soundgarden), drummers Matt Cameron (Soundgarden/Pearl Jam) and Brendan Canty (Fugazi), and bassist Billy Gould (Faith No More). Out front was singer/harmonica player Marcus Durant (Zen Guerrilla). He might have been recruited due to his physical resemblance to the late Rob Tyner, but he sure delivered the goods.

This ensemble was brutally tight and focused. (With two drummers, they'd damn well better be.) Everyone looked to be having a great time, with Durant and Kramer spending most of the time in the spotlight. Kramer sure looked like he was having a blast onstage. He sure moves better onstage than most septuagenarian performers I've seen. Guess he's been living right!

The singer from Starcrawler (one of the opening acts) came out to sing "High School" with the 5, and Mark Arm of Mudhoney joined them onstage for "Future/Now."

Ramblin' Rose
Kick Out the Jams
Come Together
Motor City Is Burning
Rocket Reducer No. 62 (Rama Lama Fa Fa Fa)
I Want You Right Now
High School
Shakin' Street
I Can Only Give You Everything
Call Me Animal

Sister Anne
Let Me Try
Looking at You

I've played Starcrawler a couple times on my show, and had heard from friends I trust that they're a hot live act. They sounded great, and they have the songs. (And they look as if they're still in high school.) What stood out was the lead singer. Arrow de Wilde has to be the most arresting female stage presence I've seen since Courtney Love -- a visually repellent performer that you just can't look away from. She looks tall and gangly, like Joey Ramone, although it may be her emaciated appearance and posture that emphasizes this. (When she joined the 5 onstage, she wasn't as tall as Durant.) She wore a white tank top, white skin-tight pants, and a studded codpiece. With the way she moved and carried herself, it was as if she was having some kind of breakdown in front of the audience. The way her mouth started to bleed during their final song certainly added to that impression.

Olympia's Fitz of Depression opened the show. I'd heard of them, but hadn't heard their music before. Pretty straight-up late-'80s-style punk, hammered out hard. The bass player is especially dexterous. They sounded good, but their songs tend to sound alike.

Re: The MC5 in Seattle
October 17, 2018 08:09PM
I saw this in Austin. No Matt Cameron and nobody from the opening act joined them onstage, but Alejandro Escovedo, who had interviewed Kramer the night before at a local bookstore to promote Kramer's excellent memoir, did for "High School." It was a great show. And yeah, I too was amazed at how much energy the 70-year-old Kramer put out. I hope I have half that when I'm his age.

We didn't get "Future/Now." I can't remember if Arm did that with the DTK MC5 all those years ago.
Re: The MC5 in Seattle
October 18, 2018 03:42AM
Arm (and Dando) did the Australian DTK MC5 dates. It was grand. Hope they get down here.
Re: The MC5 in Seattle
October 18, 2018 03:32PM
Even more pissed now that I had to miss the Portland show on Monday!
Re: The MC5 in Seattle
October 18, 2018 03:40PM
Ditto on the amazing energy that Wayne Kramer had. When he came running out to start the show, I thought he was another member of the band - no way a 70 year could have that much energy.

A cool thing was when Kramer was introducing the band, the cheers for DC native Canty was thunderous (I bet it was the same in Seattle for Thayil and Cameron).

Valient Himself of Valient Thorr introduced (read from his phone) the band and then joined on 'I Can Only Give You Everything'.

Kramer dedicated 'The American Ruse' to the White House (I guess being in DC).

Re: The MC5 in Seattle
October 18, 2018 04:55PM
In Austin we didn't get "American Ruse" either. Aargh!

Ah, well, I bet they record and release the Detroit show, and I bet that one has everything.
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