By John Curley
The First Congregational Church of Montclair, New Jersey hosts a concert series called Outpost in the Burbs that has showcased many outstanding artists over the years. The show there on Saturday night, April 7th, was no exception. It featured the legendary guitarist Dave Davies of The Kinks, whose fun and rollicking show served as a career retrospective for him as it included songs ranging from 1964’s “You Really Got Me” to “Path Is Long” from his 2017 album Open Road.
While some of the shows in the Outpost in the Burbs series take place in a smaller venue that is part of the church complex, Davies’ show was held in the church. The stage was set up in front of the altar, and fans were seated in the pews on the floor that face the altar as well as seating in lofts on both sides of the altar that look down on the proceedings.
Opening the show was the singer-songwriter Chris Collingwood from the band Fountains of Wayne. Collingwood, on acoustic guitar and vocals, was accompanied by Scott Klass from the Brooklyn-based band The Davenports, who played keyboards and provided backing vocals. Their 30-minute set was well received by the crowd.
Following of an interval of about 20 minutes, Davies, 71, and his band took the stage to a loud ovation. In addition to Davies on electric and acoustic guitars and lead vocals, the band features drummer Dennis Diken from New Jersey rockers The Smithereens and David Nolte of the Los Angeles-based power-pop band The Last on bass, guitar, keyboard, and backing vocals. They began their performance with a solid and rocking version of The Kinks’ 1965 single “Till The End Of The Day” that featured excellent work by Davies during the guitar break. They followed that with the heavy Kinks nugget “I Need You,” which gave Diken a spotlight moment on drums. The Kinks’ rock-and-roll number “She’s Got Everything” was next, and it featured very effective backing vocals as well as nice work by both Davies and Diken.
Following the performance of “Creeping Jean’ that received a good reaction from the crowd, Davies and his band performed one of the highlights of the show, a really fantastic version of The Kinks’ “Tired Of Waiting For You” that had many in the crowd singing along. The band seemed to really enjoy playing it, and Davies was grinning broadly throughout. The band then went into 1968’s “Susannah’s Still Alive,” a song that Davies wrote about Sue Sheehan, who had been his girlfriend during his teen years in London. Davies and company gave it a fantastic performance that received a big hand from the audience.
Davies then spoke to the crowd about the recent passing of longtime Kinks bassist Jim Rodford, and he dedicated their performance of The Kinks’ “See My Friends” to Rodford. The version of “See My Friends” that Davies and his band performed was extended and quite trippy. It was highlighted by Davies’ stellar guitar work.
Davies switched to acoustic guitar for the performance of his 2017 solo song “Path Is Long.” Nolte switched from bass to electric guitar for the song. “Path Is Long” is a beautiful song and quite poignant. It got a big reaction from the audience. Davies remained on acoustic guitar as Nolte went back to bass for a really nice version of The Kinks’ “Strangers” that got a nice hand from the crowd.
Collingwood and Klass were brought onstage by Davies to assist with the performance of The Kinks’ “Too Much On My Mind” that had Klass on backing vocals and Collingwood trading off on the lead vocal with Davies. The crowd loved it. After Collingwood and Klass left the stage, Davies and the band performed “Young And Innocent Days” from The Kinks’ Arthur album. It got a big reaction from the crowd. Davies then brought a female vocalist named Rebecca, who was clad in a striking red dress, onstage to perform backing vocals on “Death Of A Clown.” Nolte played the keyboard intro to the song and then switched back to bass for the remainder of the song. It’s a fun song. Davies stopped the song in the midsection to implore the crowd to sing along, which resulted in most of the crowd taking Davies up on the invitation.
Davies returned to electric guitar for a fantastic take on The Kinks’ “Dead End Street” that had the audience roaring. A terrific version of The Kinks’ “Living On A Thin Line” followed, and Davies beamed as many in the audience sang along. It got a big hand from the crowd. The show had now entered the home stretch, and Davies and the band knocked it out of the park with outstanding back-to-back performances of The Kinks’ classics “Where Have All The Good Times Gone” and “All Day And All Of The Night” that brought the main set to a close. Many in the audience left their seats and crowded into the area in front of the stage. Davies seemed quite pleased to see that, and he and the band appeared to feed off of the crowd’s energy. It was quite a sight.
Davies and the band didn’t leave the stage prior to the encore. Davies thanked the crowd and shook a few hands before he and the band launched into a fantastic version of The Kinks’ “I’m Not Like Everybody Else” that received a great reaction from the audience. To help close out the show, Davies brought backing vocalist Rebecca back to the stage to sing and do some dance moves on their stellar version of The Kinks’ “You Really Got Me.” The song was highlighted by Davies’ great work during the guitar break. When the song ended, the crowd roared as Davies again thanked everyone for coming to the show and the cheers continued as Davies and the band left the stage.
Davies’ current tour of the United States has remaining dates in Annapolis, Maryland on Monday, April 9th, Hopewell, Virginia on Thursday, April 12th, Atlanta, Georgia on Monday, April 16th, Waukegan, Illinois on Thursday, April 19th, and Medina, Minnesota on Saturday, April 21st. Additional information can be found at http://www.davedavies.com/.
Dave Davies’ setlist at Outpost in the Burbs in Montclair, New Jersey on Saturday, April 7th was as follows:
Till The End Of The Day (The Kinks song)
I Need You (The Kinks song)
She’s Got Everything (The Kinks song)
Tired Of Waiting For You (The Kinks song)
Susannah’s Still Alive
See My Friends (The Kinks song)
Path Is Long
Strangers (The Kinks song)
Too Much On My Mind (The Kinks song)
Young And Innocent Days (The Kinks song)
Death Of A Clown
Dead End Street (The Kinks song)
Living On A Thin Line (The Kinks song)
Where Have All The Good Times Gone (The Kinks song)
All Day And All Of The Night (The Kinks song)
I’m Not Like Everybody Else (The Kinks song)
You Really Got Me (The Kinks song)