Last night, I got to see Mick Jones play guitar close enough I could have reached out and touched him. That’s something I never thought I’d see – at any distance.
It has been fifteen years since Big Audio Dynamite’s last album, and over twenty since the band’s original lineup last played. When they appeared on the Coachella lineup this year, it was a pleasant surprise. Not enough of a surprise to get me to actually go to Coachella*, but fortunately, they played a pre-Coachella gig at the Roxy last night. And because I have an awesome wife who decided I needed to see one of my favorite bands, I got a ticket.
Mick Jones looked great and was having a ball playing with the original B.A.D. lineup. They sounded great and only played songs from the first four albums (with one exception) – the songs everyone wanted to hear. Played live, the songs have a powerful, organic feel and make it clear just how great a songwriter Jones is. And how great the band is, particularly Greg Roberts on drums.
It may have been the best show I’ve ever seen. My only complaint is that there was only one song from Megatop Phoenix (“Rewind”), which was an amazing wall of sound live (that is an album that could stand a proper remastering), and I would have loved to hear “Contact” or “James Brown” that way.
Big Audio Dynamite at the Roxy West Hollywood 2011-04-14:
- Medicine Show
- Beyond The Pale
- A Party
- V. Thirteen
- Just Play Music
- C’Mon Every Beatbox
- Sightsee MC
- Other 99
- The Battle Of All Saits Road
- The Bottom Line (encore)
- E=MC2 (encore)
- Rush (second encore)
* I have previously stated my dislike for general admission shows. Coachella is the ultimate nightmare experience for me – thousands of people in the summer desert heat trying to push their way to the edge of the stage. I like playing the who-would-I-go-to-Coachella-to-see game. So far, the only bands I have come up with are Talking Heads (with David Byrne) or The Jam. I don’t see Byrne ever agreeing to do a reunion, but I suspect The Jam to be still in the realm of possibility. So maybe I’ll be going to Coachella at some point.