Saw the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion yesterday.
They played at la Machine du Moulin Rouge, in Paris.
I didn't know the place - a lovely place, with lots of nooks and crannies on the way to the stage. Lee Ranaldo'll be playing there tonight.
We stood at the top of the 4 steps that lead to the pit, and clearly saw everything (including that big haired guy turning around every 30 seconds to shout something to a future ex-friend who lost patience after 40 minutes and slapped him away from him before exiting the place).
Camilla Sparksss opened. She wants to be loved. What she has to offer didn't convince me.
French 2some band Catfish followed, and were more appreciated. He plays the guitar and percussions at the same time, she sings, plays bass (only on one or two songs) and drums. A deep voice. Their heads haven't blown out of proportion.
Spencer was in a very good mood.
In 1998 their show was excellent, I was a Judah Bauer worshipper then.
Then they started recording not-so-good albums with that producer who's a friend of Keith Richards. Their show for the Plastic Fang tour wasn't too disappointing, but Bauer looked like just any professional guitar player.
They reformed and toured in 2011. In Saint-Brieuc, Spencer seemed mad at Bauer for being, what, too slow to follow him? not as involved as he wished him to be?
In Nantes, in 2012, it was slightly better, as Spencer's main complaints concerned the soundmen.
So, yesterday: no sound problem, room for Bauer to show he's good. Still, Judah didn't connect much with Spencer. Spencer didn't act like he wanted to be the man who had to be the main focus though.
They played new stuff, unless the material on Plastic and Damage is not as plain as I remember (haven't played these albums much). Something that might be called "Talk about the bass" was quite good.
They played the Beastie Boys "She's on It".
Russell Simins sang a whole song, pounding his drums.
They opened with "2kindsa Love", played "Feeling of Love-Sweat-Get Your Pants Off" in that succession, during the main set. Some ad libs as the audience responded well. "Black Mold" was brilliant. I liked a new song that sounded different but can't tell you how.
The encore comprised "Afro", "Bellbottoms", "Identify", nada off Acme, "Fuck Shit Up" and that talk about the bass thing that was fine.