Once Again, With Feeling 

The MC5 Returns--Mostly!

MC5
Fri July

2
Roseland
8 NW 6th

Everyone loves the MC5. Even if you couldn't name one of their songs, they would sound familiar when you heard them, if for no other reason than that they have been profoundly influential on rock 'n' roll music and culture, despite never having been as famous as they deserved.

Unlike most reunion tours, where wash-ups trot out their old hits--like "See? See?! I can still do it!"--the boys (okay, the men) from Detroit are very much living and operating in the present. Part of that means that this tour is really the DKT/MC5 tour (as in Michael Davis, Wayne Kramer, and Dennis Thompson), which also sort of makes it the MC3 tour. Technicalities inside, Kramer describes the endeavor as "a traveling repertoire group," set out to celebrate the music, not to recreate the past. "I'm not interested in being a museum piece," says Kramer. "I don't live in yesterday."

The vocals will be performed by Mark Arm and Evan Dando, who convinced the original members they could capture the same spirit that ruled the band back in the '60s and that continues to motivate their music. It's an attitude that Kramer says is more of a lifestyle. "It's really a methodology. We coined an expression: 'high energy.' You can make something from nothing, but you have to do it wholeheartedly--don't half-step."

In preparing for the tour, which consists of all the old songs, including ones that went unrecorded, they had to relearn them "for now." "We're much better musicians now," says Kramer. "I've learned a lot of songs over the past 30 years!" Still, he says they are still true to the full-throttle spirit of the songs, and is amazed to realize how important their music has been to so many people. And really, it's the energy that drives them as artists that holds the key to their lasting appeal. It's a spirit of vitality and evolution that can't be contained. Your best bet, according to Kramer, is to just "grab a kiss as it passes by."

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