Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Akron Rocks

Chrissie Hynde, center, performs with Akron bands including Devo and the Black Keys during a final encore after their performances at the Akron Civic Theatre on Friday, Oct. 17 2008, in Akron, Ohio. (Karen Schiely/Akron Beacon Journal)

God damn, I hope summa y’all got to see this show…

Devo's benefit concert whips up vote
Chrissie Hynde, Black Keys join other local acts in raising money for Summit County Democrats
By Malcolm X Abram Beacon Journal music writer
Published on Saturday, Oct 18, 2008

It had been 30 years since Devo performed in Akron, and it took a cause important to the band to bring the group back home.

Friday night, the band returned to the same venue — the Akron Civic Theatre — where it had performed in 1978. Back then, it was a triumphant homecoming for a band that was about to move to California. Friday night, the reason was a benefit concert for the Summit County Democratic Party, which inadvertently became a celebration of some of Akron's most popular groups, with both the Black Keys and Chrissie Hynde performing.
The show began with local singer-songwriter Chris Allen, who performed a few of his originals and a cover of Bob Dylan's I Shall Be Released. Next, Akron blues rock duo, the Black Keys, who performed a sold-out show last week at E.J. Thomas Hall, played a loud and wild eight-song, half-hour set.

''We don't feel special. We're honored to be here. We're just average Joe Plumbers,'' Black Keys guitarist-singer Dan Auerbach said, mocking John McCain's debate topic. Another local singer, Rachel Roberts, performed a quick pair of songs. Then Akron's Chrissie Hynde played a quiet set of three new songs from the Pretenders' latest album Break Up the Concrete, which she described as ''being written about Akron.''
Devo's Bob and Mark Mothersbaugh, Gerald and Bob Casale and longtime drummer Josh Freese filled out their yellow jump suits more than they did 30 years ago, but they performed a taut, energetic 70-minute set of hits and fan favorites, including Girl U Want and Uncontrollable Urge. Before Whip It, Gerald Casale talked about the ''eight-year nightmare'' of the current administration and asked the crowd, ''Are we gonna whip it on Nov. 4?'' The answer was a resounding yes.

The show ended with all of the night's performers joining in a ramshackle and fun version of the Pretenders' Break Up the Concrete that had the crowd dancing in the aisles.

Wow… I can’t even imagine how fucking cool that musta been. Like V said, "A revolution without dancing is, indeed, a revolution not worth having." I’m really homesick for NEO right about now and the Akron I lived in for 8+ years is at … um … the heart of it all. Devo and Chrissie are hugely important to me. (I still think The Pretenders is not only the best debut of all time, it’s one of the best records in all of rock.) And The Black Keys are great keepers of the Akron flame. For that to’ve taken place in the gorgeous Civic all for the most important cause of the moment does Ohio proud.

That’s Good!

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