March 18, 2006
Variety Playhouse
Atlanta, GA

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The short list for the best concert of 2006 starts here. I went into this expecting a low-key “Storytellers” type show based around Other People’s Lives, the new solo album from Kinks front man Ray Davies. With the opening blast of “I’m Not Like Everybody Else,” “Where Have All The Good Times Gone” and “Till The End Of The Day” I was immediately put right. Over the next two hours, I was treated to a generous helping of Kinks classics and obscurities that were held up with equally powerful doses of the new songs.

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Surprisingly, the new songs were equally as vibrant and inspired as the Kinks standards. “Creatures Of Little Faith” turned the microscope on the suspicions within a relationship and hit it with so much soul that it was hard not to sway back and forth. “Stand-Up Comic” started off feeling a lot like The Streets and wound up in a massive Kinksian chorus that blasted the back of the sold out room into submission.

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Of course, this being as close to a Kinks show as one can get in 2006, it wouldn’t have been as special without some flat out rocking. The Spinal Tap-ish “Low Budget” may have rocked the hardest but “Tired Of Waiting For You,” “Set Me Free”, “All Day & All Of The Night” were all contenders as well. The only real misfire was a too slow encore of “You Really Got Me.” To make up for it, Davies and his crack band came out for one final number. A sing-a-long version of “Lola” capped a beautiful evening. I’ll take the memory of that “c-o-l-a” with me for a while. This show reminded me of why I do this and it did it with depth and humor. I left feeling inspired and rejuvenated.


That’s the power of pop, baby.

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Perhaps what impressed me most was the way that every one of these songs cut to the chase and transported the listener to a place beyond the concert hall. “After The Fall” packed an unexpected emotional wallop only surpassed by a gorgeous late show performance of “Days”, while the acoustic section of the show featured chill-inducing versions of “Sunny Afternoon” and “Picture Book”.

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I'm also happy to report that Ray Davies has lost nothing as an entertainer. He bounded around the stage like he was having the time of his life. He was generous with not only his music catalog but with handshakes and autographs. Davies smiled and played around with the enraptured audience, adding new light on old songs with his intros.

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Photos and review by Chris McKay / concertshots.com