Boy, if you worry about getting old, go see the Sonics. You will be worried no more. The Sonics—yes, that Sonics— started circa 1964, played for a few years, arguably invented punk, and at the least were probably the best garage rock band of all time, then faded away only to slowly see their influence inflate over the decades. But once they got going last night at Irving Plaza (in the midst of a two-month tour), all of that was tossed aside for a good ol’ time.
The Seattle sons kicked in with He’s Waiting and chomped through all their classics like Strychnine, The Witch, and Cinderella among the hour-plus show. Singer/keyboardist Gerry Roslie’s vocals still spook-snear supremely, but when the super screams were needed, bassist Freddie Dennis was absolutely insane in that department. And the four songs they slipped in from their new album This Is The Sonics (Revox)—their first album of all new studio material in nearly 40 years—fit in just fine (especially the revved-up Bad Betty).
Maybe it’s just the infinitely massive three-chord root-riffs that the band perfected way back are just so timeless that they still create unexplainable energy, but damned if these geezers (three original members and two who’ve played on varying tours for awhile) didn’t whip up a storm that made everyone in the room (a surprising mix of young and old) instantly become a 17-year-old kid hopped up on his first six pack.
Photos by Harriet Roberts