The Real Kids
Mr. Airplane Man
Midway, Jamaica Plain, 12/12/14
Review and photos by John Keegan
Geminid meteors were pinging off the ionosphere fast and furious all
weekend long. They must have heated up the ether if the action at the
Midway was any indication. The crowd statistics peak
oddly early with the first band on the undercard - the resurrected Mr.
Airplane Man. Only caught the last number, but the dirty slide
blues was tapped into the celestial energy and the crowd was boppin'
and yelping its approval of Margaret Garrett's guitar
and vocals and Tara McManus' drums.
The Titantics hit the yuletide
stage hard. The crowd was up for a little holiday family fued. They
weren't taking Dave Fredettes' excellent, tart solos
laying down - especially when they end with that fast fanning move on
all the strings way up on the neck. The crowd was starting to cook.
They toss excess energy back at the stage. This was good for all concerned.
Nat Freedberg pushed on the lyrics,
and, in a tip of the cap to holiday inclusiveness, gave the devil his
due with a couple of Satanics' run throughs. The crowd
was susceptible to Santa's doppelganger and his anti-elves. Jim
Janota's drums, Jay Parham's bass and Freedberg's
guitar highlight the important points. The crowd's gross motor activity
moves up the intensity scale. The energy starts to concentrate.
The Midway is such a great dive
bar. Just big enough, great sound, cheap drinks, friendly bartenders
and great booking. It must seem like home to the Real Kids
after their recent pseudonymous residency. If there was a debt of gratitude
owed, the Real Kids square up with interest. They plug
into the building electrical charge and light that little joint up.
They blast off with a staccato and chicken scratch riff that Andy
Gill would die for on She Don't Take It from the new
disk Shake Outta Control.
The band and the crowd are two points in one electrical
current. The band rip seamlessly between old and new, pre-punk, pathos
and pissed. Felice's voice and guitar are strong and
energized. The Midway residency has honed the edges
of the arrangements. The band is tight. The rhythm section is pumped.
In the end, when they flip from the swaying intro into the massive riffs
of Who Needs You, the sound lights up like a meteor
and blazes through the crowd.