The Kinks proved once and for all the irrelevance of age in rock 'n' roll last night at Georgetown University's McDonough Arena. Now in its 15th year, the British band brought more shuddering energy to its show than any dozen fans half the musicians' age. They could slip a 1965 song like "Tired of Waiting" into a 1977 song like "Sleepwalker" and make them fit in defiance of any historical logic.
Lead singer and songwriter Ray Davies has avoided the ravages of time by keeping himself well outside any normal social categories. Last night -- wearing a tight, gray suit and a red bow tie -- he literally threw himself into the roles of the dreamer in "(Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman" and the insomniac of "Sleepwalker."
But as peculiar as Davies' personas were, they were convincing enough. The audience chanted along to Davies' anthems of failed sex life in "Lola" and tight discounted clothes in "Low Budget." As he sang later, "The Misfits Are Everywhere."
The Kinks' new six-man lineup, with saxophonist Nick Newall and keyboardist Gordon Edwards, backed Davies with a surging attack. Dave Davies, Ray's younger brother, outbid Jimmy Page with his climbing, fuzzy guitar introductions to "Gallons of Gas" and "Celluloid Heroes." The show climaxed with a ranting, raving, timeless version of "Twist and Shout."