Saturday, March 1, 2008

The New York Dolls at the Beachland Ballroom, 20 February 2008

(This was a great show!)
It was a night of great straight ahead guitar and drums rock and roll filled with a whole lot of attitude, last Wednesday night as the New York Dolls made an appearance at the Beachland Ballroom. This is the third year of this second life of this mid 70’s punk band, fronted by surviving members David Johansson and Sylvain Sylvain, and they gave a very receptive audience all they wanted on a cold winter’s night.
The evening belong to Johansson, as the ageless front man lead the tight five piece band through a set list filled with punk anthems from their glory days; songs off their latest album (2006’s One Day It Will Please Us to Remember Even This); and covers of classics originally done by a woman or a girl group (including the Dovells’ “Bristol Stomp” and Janis Joplin’s “A Piece of My Heart”).
Some of these reunion tours of 70’s bands have been hit or miss propositions, but Johansson and this new version of the Dolls delivered an outstanding set of catchy songs, slick guitar licks, and big beats that had the capacity audience enjoying every moment.
It was one of those nights at the Beachland that made you feel optimistic about the music scene here in Cleveland. The room was filled with fans from their late teens all the way up into their 50’s and beyond, and even if most of them had never seen the Dolls before, they knew their music and sang and danced along throughout the night. There were a lot of smiles on a lot of faces as music fans got what they came for.
There are some great acts coming up in the near future at the Beachland including country songstress Shelby Lynn on March 30 (touring in support of her Dusty Springfield tribute album) and surf rock legends The Trashmen. I’m not going to miss boxer turned bluesman Paul Thorn and his band March 1 in the Tavern at 7:00. Check him out if you can, I promise you won’t be disappointed.

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