Wayne Kramer, leader of Detroit’s proto-punk/hard rock band MC5, has announced 15 concerts and 4 summer festivals for Kick Out the Jams: The 50th Anniversary Tour. MC50 includes guitarist Kim Thayil, drummers Brendan Canty and Matt Cameron, bassists Dug Pinnick and super producer Don Was, and 6’7” powerhouse frontman Marcus Durant. With it, Kramer will be celebrating the landmark anniversary of the MC5’s incendiary debut album Kick Out the Jams as well as the release of his memoir, The Hard Stuff: Dope, Crime, the MC5, and My Life of Impossibilities, to be published August 16 by Faber & Faber.
MC50 opens the tour with four shows in the UK in four consecutive nights. “I will come to England, where some of the greatest live shows of my life were performed in the MC5, to play Kick Out the Jams again with these great musicians. Doing so is the best possible tribute to the legacy. To borrow from Claude Lanzmann, there will be ‘No Retirement and No Retreat.’ Let’s rock.” In addition to performing the album in its entirety, Kramer and friends will follow it with an encore of other MC5 material that will change each night.
MC50 will have just completed a series of Detroit concerts back where it all began, and where Kick Out the Jams — recently cited by Pitchfork as one of the 50 best albums of the ‘60s — was recorded live in front of a raucous hometown audience at the Grande Ballroom on Halloween night in 1968. As Kramer explains, “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.’ I’m not interested in a note-for-note reproduction of a record you’ve known your entire life. The world has lived with these songs burned in amber for half a century, so we’re going for an energy blast to end all. Let’s bring the monster back to life with supremely talented musicians who will interpret it in their own unique ways.”
“The message of the MC5 has always been the sense of possibilities: a new music, a new politics, a new lifestyle,” Kramer says of revisiting Kick Out the Jams. “Today, there is a corrupt regime in power, an endless war thousands of miles away, uncontrollable violence wracking my country — it’s becoming less and less clear if we’re talking about 1968 or 2018. I’m compelled to share this music I created with my brothers 50 years ago. My goal is that the audience leaves these shows mesmerized by the positive power of rock music,” says Kramer. “I’ve come to accept that we were a dangerous band. The music we made at that time represented something that said — we are part of a tribe, we are part of a bigger movement — and apparently it still represents that.”
2018 Tour Dates
09 Nov – UK, Bristol Academy
10 Nov – UK, Glasgow ABC
11 Nov – UK, Manchester Albert Hall
12 Nov – UK, London Shepherds Bush Empire