photos by Dominick Mastrangelo
The Sonics @ Maxwell's
"When I heard that The Sonics, already in the New York City area this weekend to play Norton Records' 25th anniversary festival at Bell House, added an afternoon show at Maxwell's, I decided to buy a ticket. After all, I'd missed their previous East Coast appearance at the Cavestomp festival in Brooklyn several years earlier and since they're not playing here in Philadelphia, this seemed like a no-brainer.The Sonics headlined the final night of the Norton Records part at the Bell House (that started on Thursday) late last night (11/13). Here are the pictures from their Saturday afternoon show at Maxwell's, with the now-signed-to-Matador The Young. They continue below...
Thankfully, this performance more than justified the $30 ticket price. The Sonics were in excellent form with keyboardist/lead vocalist Gerry Roslie (unfortunately obscured by the monitor on the right-hand side of the stage, so it was difficult to see him from where I was standing) trading off vocals with bassist Freddie Dennis (who sounded like a rawer John Fogerty!) and guitarist Larry Papyra firing off riffs with saxophonist Rob Lind in fine form as well. Roslie, in particular, was a revelation, since at almost 70 he still has the golden throat, a white, suburban Little Richard-like howl!
As for the setlist, the hour-long show featured basically all the classics from their '60s albums Here are the Sonics (the crown jewel in their catalog and one of the best '60s garage-rock albums ever), the terrific follow-up Boom and even a few from the much-maligned but still pretty good_Introducing the Sonics_. In other words, we got "Dirty Robber," "Boss Hoss," "Have Love Will Travel," "Cinderella," "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark," "Louie Louie," "Keep A-Knockin'" and of course their best-known songs "Psycho," "Strychnine" and penultimate, pre-"encore" (the band never left the stage) classic "The Witch", their still-incredible first single from 1965..." [Matthew Berlyant @ The Big Takeover]