So I was planning a relaxing evening at the zoo with Los Lonely Boys and Los Lobos, but it turned into some much better. When Los Lobos finished their set at 8:20 - they've been alternating set times with Los Lonely Boys on their tour - I found a text message from my son Kevin inviting me over to the Crystal Ballroom (where he works) to see Ray Davies who was set to begin at 9. Hmmmm . . . I did want to see Ray, but had made the choice for a ticket to hear my absolutely favorite band instead. Choices . . . sometimes you can't do everything. But sometimes the stars line up just right . . . . and I could probably make it down to the Crystal before he hit the stage if the MAX schedule cooperated. Figured the boys wouldn't be lonely without me, so it was out of the zoo and into a seat at the Crystal just in time for Ray's opening number.
First, Los Lobos . . . wow . . . knowing that time was tight, they came out roaring and kept the energy high all the way through the set. The front of the stage was jammed and everyone was having a great time, including the band. How so many folks could just sit there listening on the lawn is a mystery to me. This is a band that always move me to move . . . and sing along (okay, maybe not in Spanish). When the band broke into Buddy Holly's Not Fade Away, they didn't even have to open their mouths, the audience was right there from the first note.
Ray Davies. Rock/songwriting icon. At 63 he's still the bouncing, engaging, enthusiastic entertainer I remembered . . . and he had an enthusiastic loving crowd to work with on Friday. Backed by a fine accompanying guitar player, Ray deliver a outstanding set of tunes that reached way back to early Kinks and featured his newer work from his last two CDs - Working Man's Cafe and Other People's Lives. He seemed to be having a wonderful time and had the audience singing along for much of the night (amazing how many people seem to know his entire catalog) . . . . What's also amazing to me is that after 44 years (since the "British Invasion") Ray still sounds great and his songs don't seem nostalgic . . . though a couple got me thinking about early teen years when I first heard music that now seems engrained in my DNA and hard to imagine a life without. Thanks Ray.
Now that was a satisfying Friday night.