“This is more like a party than a regular gig, Don Was told the audience early on, and he couldn’t have been more right.
Not having seen any version of Was (Not Was) since a late 1980s Club MTV Tour, I must say that I have been intrigued and puzzled by the wide range of appreciations of the current Wasperience, ranging from carping that the band doesn’t access it’s entire catalogue, to effusive praise for inspirational performances. This is good, mainly because it shows that, whether you’ve seen them 20 times or can’t tell Don Was from a roadie, the band is still as fascinating as ever.
For a group as meticulous in writing, recording and rehearsal as this one, the genius of a Was (Not Was) show isn’t in the element of suprise, but rather in witnessing this wild musical/cultural and intellectual amalgam come to vivid life right before your very eyes.
And that goes from the MTV show, where they were 4th or 5th on the bill to Ton Loc, Paula Abdul and the density-is-infamy Milli Vanilli (they were sharp, smooth and fun, and belonged on that bill as much as William Burroughs opening for the Osmonds at Branson), back to the very first Was show I witnessed, in Chicago with Wayne Kramer and the Brides of Funkenstein en was, on the tour for the first album.
The May 10, 2008 show in the intimate confines of the Abbey Pub in Chicago was teriffic — David Was and Sir Harry got up front and sang harmony, fercrissakes — and the band and the audience were clearly interested in exchanging electricity. The combination of musicianship and volume in front of 2-300 or so folks who 85-90% looked like the main floor of a Republican National Convention is like what one imagines it might be like to watch a 747 experly landed in a shoebox.
Thanks to Harmen
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