The glut of 50th-anniversary celebrations in the music world can be overwhelming and not always worth your precious time. However, Kick Out the Jams: The 50th Anniversary Tour, which pays tribute to the debut live album by revolutionary Detroit rock thugs the MC5, looks like it'll be one for which to clear your schedule and set aside your cynicism. Dubbed MC50, the tour will hit the Showbox on October 16. Tickets go on sale tomorrow—Friday, April 6—at 10 am. The "Super Fan Pre-Show Experience Pre Sale" started at 10 am yesterday.
Guitarist Wayne Kramer is the sole original member participating (drummer Dennis Thompson sadly is the only other surviving player from the classic lineup). Filling in for MC5 musicians Fred "Sonic" Smith, Rob Tyner, Thompson, and Michael Davis are Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil, Zen Guerrilla vocalist Marcus Durant, ex-Fugazi/Messthetics drummer Brendan Canty, and King's X bassist Dug Pinnick. In a press release, Kramer enthused, "This band will rip your head off. It's real, raw, sweaty, total energy rock and roll, like a bunch of 40-to-70-year-old punks on a meth power trip."
Kick Out the Jams—which was recorded in October 1968, but actually released in 1969—has long been considered a wellspring of punk, metal, and politically engaged rock (with titanic Sun Ra and John Lee Hooker covers, to boot). The recording occurred not long after the MC5's appearance at Chicago's tumultuous, chaotic 1968 Democratic National Convention, and you can hear the fury of that experience channeled into Kick Out the Jams.
Talking about his rationale for the live revival of Kick Out the Jams in 2018, Kramer said: "Today, there is a corrupt regime in power, an endless war thousands of miles away, and uncontrollable violence wracking our country. It's becoming less and less clear if we're talking about 1968 or 2018. I'm now compelled to share this music I created with my brothers 50 years ago. My goal is that the audience leaves these concerts fueled by the positive and unifying power of rock music."
In addition to this tour, Kramer is publishing a memoir on August 14, The Hard Stuff: Dope, Crime, the MC5, and My Life of Impossibilities (Da Capo Press).
9/5 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution Live
9/6 - St. Augustine, FL @ Backyard Stage at St. Augustine Amphitheatre
9/7 - Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse
9/8 - Raleigh, NC @ Hopscotch Music Festival
9/9 - Nashville, TN @ Exit/In
9/11 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
9/12 - New Haven, CT @ College Street Music Hall
9/13 - Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
9/14 - Huntington, NY @ The Paramount
9/15 - Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
9/17 - New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
9/18 - Montreal, QC @ Corona Theatre
9/19 - Toronto, ON @ Danforth Music Hall
9/21 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr. Smalls Theatre
9/22 - Grand Rapids, MI @ 20 Monroe Live
9/23 - Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues
9/25 - Milwaukee, WI @ Turner Hall Ballroom
9/26 - St. Louis, MO @ The Ready Room
9/28 - Austin, TX @ Mohawk
9/29 - Dallas, TX @ Granada Theater
10/1 - Phoenix, AZ @ The Marquee
10/2 - Las Vegas, NV @ Brooklyn Bowl
10/3 - San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
10/4 - San Francisco, CA @ The Regency Ballroom
10/5 - Los Angeles, CA @ John Anson Ford
10/15 - Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater
10/16 - Seattle, WA @ The Showbox
10/17 - Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom
10/19 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Metro Music Hall
10/20 - Denver, CO @ Gothic Theatre
10/23 - Minneapolis, MN @ Varsity Theater
10/24 - Chicago, IL @ Metro Chicago
10/25 - Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart's
10/26 - Detroit, MI @ St. Andrew's Hall
10/27 - Detroit, MI @ The Fillmore