Midnight oil at first avenue August 29, 2017. I am very excited for this one. They are one of my (if not THE) favorite bands of all time (FBoAT?). I mean, what is not to love; fierce and powerful live, visually dynamic in so many ways, blistering on albums, outraged, but understanding lyrics that for all their preaching, have enough humor and self-awareness to resonate, and of course, songs with a shitload more hooks than you’d think. After Peter Garrett went pro into politics (I was going to say went into politics full time, but I think that’s been true FOREVER) I figured we’d not see their likes this way again. And even after Peter stepped away from the Fray (see what I did there?), and back into music, he seemed inclined to follow a different path, one that didn’t involve his former bandmates. So fair play, I’d seen them four times (first time still the most most of course, but all the shows were great), and I was really ok with that being the end.
But everything happens if you let it, and the Oils are back! And touring. And they are coming to my town (my hometown?) Even better, we are getting as near the classic lineup as is realistic these days (I’ll never be COMPLETELY on board with Bones, even though he’s been in the band for 30 years now). Even accounting for the Gifford/Hillman switch out (and Andrew James on bass before PGII), it’s astonishing to think how stable the MO lineup has been. Forty freaking years. Crazy. And I could not be more delighted.
Makes me think of all the other bands touring state fairs, summer parks and barns in the middle of nowhere this summer that have constantly rotating memberships . At what point are these bands even the same band as you knew and loved (or even hated). Granted, a new lead singer is the most obvious and disconcerting change, but losing a lead guitarist (yes, I mean you, bon voyage jovi) is just as deleterious to a band’s sound and image. And I can think of a bassist’s signature sound and style so integral to the band’s sound that I just can’t see how they can be the same band (no order).
Seems like some rebranding is in order, and of course, I’m more than happy to throw my two cents on some alternate band names.
Truth in advertising, accept no substitutes, be advised that contents may appear have settled in distribution:
Beached Boys (c’mon, only Mike Love is left? And no, as much as I love Disney Girls, Bruce Johnston doesn’t write the songs. Also, no comment on Brian Wilson is meant. The man is a genius. A giant of industry. )
Blood, Sweat and Strangers
Van Whonow (is it wrong of me to almost prefer Van Hagar?)
Great Off White
Winged (winger is mostly intact, but I fell in love with winged)
English Half Beat (Ranking Roger has his own half beat too)
ELNO (but I’d see Jeff Lynne in a heartbeat, cos it’s a love beat and a good vibration, if you are into string theory)
Little River Fraud (not a single one left from the classic era, unless you count Wayne Nelson)
Still Stynx (say what you want, Dennis Deyoung matters)
Stole Temple Pilots (what is wrong with this band?)
Spoiled Prairie League (granted, they’ve always have a flexible lineup, but sheesh)
Atlanta Rhythm Dissection (c’mon, just stop. Please. They are dead; they are all dead.)
Shortened Journey (although maybe this whole Cain/Schon feud will bring back Steve?)
Foreigner (I feel like there should be something here, but I just can’t put my finger on it, Forgener, maybe?)
Men Without Shame (although if I wasn’t going to Beck, I’d go S. S. S. S. E. E. E. E. T. T. T. Them.)
Slowco (I will never get over Jay Bennett’s dismissal)
I’m torn about the Four Tops. They lasted for nearly forty years with their original lineup and I think it was only death and serious illness that caused lineup flux. But being as Duke Fakir is the only original left, maybe folks should know them as the Four Fakes. (also, Levi Stubbs' Tears is maybe my favorite song title ever, thank you billy bragg.