06/16/15 Kansas City, MO Record Bar
06/17/15 Columbia, MO Rose Music Hall
06/18/15 St. Louis, MO Old Rock House
06/19/15 Cincinnati, OH Woodward Theater
06/20/15 Morgantown, WV 123 Pleasant St.
06/26/15 Garorock Festival
06/27/15 Rock Dans Tous Ses Etats
08/15/15 "Summer Sonic" (Chiba)
08/16/15 "Summer Sonic" (Osaka)
But before the show even started, Jon Spencer slipped out from backstage to spin records for folks filtering into the Turf Club. As you might expect, Spencer has flawless taste and was serving up 50s and 60s-era garage and soul singles. Having someone DJing prior to the opening act is a great idea period, but knowing that it was Spencer made it extra special.
Daddy Long Legs
photo by Amy
Against an American flag backdrop, the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion kicked into their set with a slew of new tracks starting with “Wax Dummy,” off the recent album Freedom Tower - No Wave Dance Party 2015. Jon Spencer and guitarist Judah Bauer dragging their picks across those guitar strings was like striking a match and throwing it into an audience well lubricated by alcohol and sweat. The result was as combustive as Russell Simins pounding his sticks into those skins. Babe, consider me on fire.
Over the next hour and a half, the Blues Explosion kept a relentless pace, throttling the sold-out crowd with heavy riffs, barely giving them the chance to clap let alone catch their breath. The songs seemed to melt into each other. Older favorites like “Chicken Dog” off of 1996’s Now I Got Worry and “Blues X Man” from 1994’s Orange record meshed seamlessly with new song “Do The Get Down.” They even threw in a cover of the Dead Boys’ “What Love Is” with Simins taking the lead and roaring into the mic.
Fans were still moving despite the heat because with this kind of music it’s physically impossible not to. The songs, a potent hybrid of garage, noise and rhythm and blues, contained plenty of stops and rhythm changes that made for an unpredictable show. It felt like the Blues Explosion were teetering on the edge of complete madness and the crowd was right there with them. And if the groove didn’t make you surrender yourself completely, then Spencer’s hypnotic command of that blue-hued theremin that sat behind him would have surely made your pants quiver.
an audience well lubricated by alcohol and sweat
Freedom Towers - No Wave Dance Party 2015 is out now on Mom+Pop Music.
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion at Turf Club, St Paul (14 June 2015)
photo by Amy