Ian Hunter & the Rant Band - If I were to give you a multiple choice question on who is the oldest classic rocker of the following: Rod Argent, Ian Hunter, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards or Ringo Starr, would you get it right? Well, being that this is an Ian Hunter review you might, but I would have failed it had I not reviewed an excellent Mott the Hoople documentary a few years back. Ian Hunter is 73 years young, a year older than Ringo and four years older than Mick. Yet, you would not guess that based on the 100 minute set tonight. No breaks necessary, and a lot of dovetailing of songs into a packed set of old classics and songs from the new album that earned its standing ovations. I actually felt it started slow for a couple songs, even with "Once Bitten, Twice Shy". But by the third or fourth song, the band really started to cook and I was absorbed into their rhythms. Although he apologized (see below) for exposing the crowded theatre to a lot of songs from a new album they have not heard, this was precisely why things were so effective tonight. I am fortunate to have spent some time with the album as I have a review copy which will be getting a rave review at Folkworld (not that there is much folk here, more blues roots amidst the rock). Hunter has the entire band from this recording with him tonight and they are excellent. They feature two guitarists, keyboards, and a rhythm section allowing Hunter to play acoustic guitar, piano, and harmonica at different points. The double piano throbbing was great on "All the Way from Memphis" and the rhythm section was really driving things at this point of the set. On some of the new cuts, the band created near-pysche moments in the manner that Robert Plante's bands could bend and twist rock forms into something otherworldly. "Sweet Jane" closed things off to the delight of many, aside from myself who finds it to be the one Lou Reed song I have grown weary of. But his encores sent me off extremely happy as "Roll Away the Sun", "Do You Remember Saturday Night" and of course "All the Young Dudes". And if David Bowie had not given that cut to Mott the Hoople, Ian Hunter's quote below may have been more accurate as it helped keep 'Mott' together. Ian Hunter is a very intelligent and interesting person in rock music and I am happy that he is doing such a great job of delivering the goods in 2012.
Quote of the Night: Ian Hunter " If you don't know some of these songs, it is because they are off our new album or it's probably because you don't know who the fuck I am anyway."