October 21, 2012

The Mac Wire Review: Micky Dolenz At B.B. Kings October 20. 2012

On Friday night The Mac Wire was invited to see Micky Dolenz perform at B.B. King's Blue Club in New York City. We had a blast!  The house as we expected sold out and Micky was in top form. A reader sent in this review.  Let us know if you were there too: 

   I’ve seen Micky Dolenz several times in the past few years and have really loved every single show. First: His voice which Rolling Stones, yes, Rolling Stone, called one of the best in rock ‘n roll, never fails to surprise. The Guardian in the U.K. last year compared his voice to a magical mix of Roy Orbison and Freddie Mercury; and, in many ways, he’s never sounded better than today. I’ve always been struck his exemplary choices of song styles; “I’m A Believer” rocks, but his choice of songs like, “D.W. Washburn,” from Smokey’s Joe’s CafĂ© (written by Leiber and Stoller), is nothing sort of impeccable. Last night he appeared at B.B. King’s with his band; he’d appeared there before at numerous charity events (i.e., Rockers On Broadway) but, last night was his first as the headliner. Also promised in the show were several numbers from his excellent new album Remember. And, as the icing on the cake, the whole show was being recorded as a live CD/DVD for release.

After a tremendous introduction by Q104.3’s Jim Kerr – a Dolenz confident for many years and arguably one of the nicest guy in radio - Micky joined his band on stage beginning with “That was Then, This Is Now” for what one of his best and strongest shows ever. Wearing a elegant-John Varvatos jacket, hat and tinted-glasses, Dolenz began on a somewhat reserved note, but built strongly and quickly had the crowd behind him in fast fashion. He deftly segued into “She” which the crowd went crazy for. This Boyce/Hart song is always a crowd pleaser and last night, it was rendered as good as ever. A highlight of his show was his take on the famous Archies’ record “Sugar, Sugar,” recreated for his new album; as a saucy and suggestive dance. As he told it from the stage, it could well have been a Monkees song, but the powers-that-be at the time didn’t make it happen, but the song had long continued to fascinate him and as he told this story to the album producer David Harris; Harris then created this wonderful new take on the Ron Dante-song. The crowd went into overdrive. Having listened to the 1969 original, probably too many times (but, hey, who hasn’t) his take was a most welcomed re-configured version. 

     Micky calls Carole King’s “Sometime In The Morning” his “Layla.” It’s a lovely song and he re-creates it lovingly again on the new CD. “Last Train To Clarksville” followed and the few remaining audiences members who weren’t yet into the show came into the fold. “Purple Haze,” “Cryin’ In The Rain,” his sister Coco performing “A Different Drum” and “White Rabbit” followed to much applause. Then came his tribute to fallen-Monkee Davy Jones, which included “Daydream Believer” and “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You.” The sudden and unexpected death of Jones is still sinking in and a cold and sobering chill shot through the venue as he performed these songs in proper remembrance; the re-grouped Monkees tour next month, will indeed be a somewhat different affair. Needless to say, it should be some show to see, with Mike Nesmith back in the fold. 
    Then came, perhaps my favorite part of the show, with his take on The Beatles’ “Oh Darling,” and his new take on his song “Randy Scouse Git,” featuring a breathtaking guitar solo from Wayne Avers; who without question is Micky’s secret weapon here. It’s easy to see why he has so ably backed Dolenz for quite some time; his whole band, including Dave Alexander, Rich Dart, Coco, and, David Billings, just stellar. I have to say that this current version of his solo band is the best I’ve yet seen. It was quite an audience too with actor Tony Danza and entourage sitting front and center applauding Micky’s every move; for those who don’t know or recall, Micky’s eldest daughter Ami appeared with Danza in the 1989 movie She’s Out of Control. We also saw Micky’s able assistant Jane Blunkell and PR-mouthpiece David Salidor running about as well. Steve Walter from The Cutting Room was present too. Great night; tremendous show. It was indeed a magical night.

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