It was a kinda klassic, kinda kwerky, kinda typical Kinks koncert Saturday at the Hollywood Palladium. The veteran British quintet charmed the capacity crowd with selections from its 20-plus years of sporadic hits, but most of the show was devoted to beery renditions of head Kink Ray Davies' versions of radio fodder; the best of which sounded as off-handedly raunchy and funny as the bust-up-the-dance-hall band the Kinks have always prided themselves on being. The rest of which was as forgettable as it was tightly performed.
A string of five songs from the recent "Think Visual" album--only two of which (the anti-rockbiz "Working at the Factory" and the anti-urban renewal "Sleazy Town") can stand with Davies' repertoire of classics--contributed to the show's uneven pace.
For years the Kinks have been the great outsiders, the true poets of small lives, small pleasures, simultaneously savage 'n' sentimental. Despite their intellect and their considerable artistic accomplishments, their audience remains--somewhat ironically--almost exclusively working-class yobs, not unlike the Kinks themselves.
After 23 albums, what would you have left to say? You could say that someday when Ray Davies is dead, they'll probably make a hit Broadway musical out of his life and work.