Mark Perry - My ticket said "special guests", there were no introductions, the singer/guitarist did not identify himself. He did introduce his keyboardist as Allie. Allie did introduce him while everyone was applauding at the end. But due to the noise, I heard Mark Perry. Looking up Mark Perry, he plays guitar in Canada. I do not think it was him any more than it was the Mark Perry who ran Sniffin' Glue magazine or sang for ATV. A quick websearch on this antique computer I am using yielded nothing so this is a mystery. In any event, the set was simple and fine. It was nothing where I would rush out and buy a CD, so I am personally ok without knowing his name. But it was well received and there were some decent songs. The keys were a nice plus for the arrangements.
Ray Davies - I saw this veteran back at the 9:30 Club maybe 5 years ago. I enjoyed it much and found it interesting that it was by far the oldest crowd I was with. Of course, he will have some old fans, but many of the other older acts I frequently see had a bit younger blood in the mix. Pretty similar here, but the venue was huge and there was maybe some younger blood there, too, at least a couple father/sons near me. I mention this as the Kinks and Davies music is pretty classic stuff and sometimes gets short shrift when there is discussion of the giants of the British Invasion of the sixties. The hall was pretty classy and apparently it does classical concerts and rock/pop shows. The sound was excellent and his voice is quite amazing in the timbre and hitting the notes and all that. He plays mostly acoustic guitar throughout with a touch of electric. He worked with his lead guitarist as a duo for quite a long time before bringing on his full band. The keyboardist did sneak out to add an accordian for two songs, though. I thought he may have overdone the sing-alongs by trying it with a few challenging songs. But other times, it was natural and when you are dealing with classics, some of which he is getting closer and closer to the half century mark of performances, it is only fair to allow him leeway. He did a set of songs that were used in films which allowed for an amusing Wim Wenders impersonation. Odd that he mentioned one was in Juno, yet he hadn't seen it (worth a look, I think). He even read a little from X-Ray, his autobiography. Dedications were to his brother before his closer, All Day and All of the Night (after quoting a nasty rejection label from Direct, one of the many labels that rejected the Kinks demos). He also had a dedication to the Knack (mentioning their late singer)before playing a song the Knack had covered. And the best dedication was to Alex Chilton before really rocking out. He does many of his hits as mentioned along with Lola, End of the Day, I Need You, Sunny Afternoon, etc. He covers newer songs, different Kinks and solo periods. His Irish guitarist was excellent and the songs sounded fresh. I'll leave others to discuss his brilliance in song writing with his special observations of surroundings detail, but suffice it to say, this is one great song writer who still can play and sing.
Pithy sidebars will have to wait. There is a line behind me, so I must leave.