MC50: Kick Out the Jams – The 50th Anniversary Tour

From Shorefire Media:

Wayne Kramer, leader of Detroit’s proto-punk/hard rock band MC5, announces 35 North American dates for “Kick Out the Jams: The 50th Anniversary Tour.” Touring with the MC50 — which includes guitarist Kim Thayil (Soundgarden), drummer Brendan Canty (Fugazi), bassist Dug Pinnick (King’s X), and frontman Marcus Durant (Zen Guerrilla) — Kramer will be celebrating the landmark anniversary of the MC5’s incendiary debut album Kick Out the Jams and the release of his memoir The Hard Stuff: Dope, Crime, the MC5, and My Life of Impossibilities, to be published August 14 by Da Capo Press.

The North American tour begins in early September, after several European summer festivals, and culminates with an October 27th concert back where it all began: in Detroit in 1968, where Kick Out the Jams — recently cited by Pitchfork as one of the 50 best albums of the 1960s—was recorded live in front of a raucous home town audience at the Grande Ballroom on Halloween night. On the MC50 tour, Kramer and the band will play the album Kick Out the Jams in its entirety followed by an encore of MC5 material that will change each night …

mc50 logo

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.”

Kick Out the Jams is recognized as the galvanizing live document that introduced a major voice of late ’60s counterculture and proved incomparably influential on metal, punk, stoner rock and almost every other form of loud, limitless, long-haired music to come …

Says Kramer of revisiting Kick Out The Jams: “It’s becoming less and less clear if we’re talking about 1968 or 2018. I’m now compelled to share this music I created with my brothers 50 years ago. My goal is that the audience leaves these concerts fueled by the positive and unifying power of rock music.”

On one level, the MC5 — “MC” was short for Motor City — was a garage band with admirable taste in musical heroes (John Coltrane, Sun Ra, John Lee Hooker), and gigantic ambition that probably outstripped their capacity.  Managed by activist/provocateur John Sinclair (whose White Panther Party advocated a platform of “rock’n’roll, dope and [sex] in the streets”), they alienated not only mainstream culture but also the entire US music industry in record time; their epic crash and burn provided grist for compelling rock books like Fred Goodman’s Mansion on the Hill and D.A. Carson’s Grit, Noise and Revolution: The Birth of Detroit Rock’n’ Roll.

On the other hand, the MC5’s influence on outsider rock — from fellow Detroiters Iggy Pop and the Stooges to countless punks, metallers, and rockers in the US and Britain — is incalculable; as an example, their 35th anniversary show in London featured Dave Vanian of the Damned, Motorhead’s Lemmy, and Ian Astbury of The Cult as guest vocalists.

With drug addiction and prison time behind him, Wayne Kramer has built a notable solo career (including the fine albums The Hard Stuff, Dangerous Madness and Citizen Wayne for the punk label Epitaph) and taken inspiration from a Clash song based on his story to found Jail Guitar Doors USA.  This charity’s mission is to “improve prison recidivism rates by providing musical instruments, education and cultural experience to the inmate population … Learning music teaches valuable skills: self-discipline, patience, getting along with others, focus-ability, and non-confrontational ways to express emotions. This helps inmates and helps the community to which they will return and become a part of.”

All in all, it’s been one crazy ride for Wayne Kramer; he’s earned his victory lap.   And hearing Kim Thayil and Dug Pinnick dig into the MC5’s music will be the icing on the cake.  Time to kick out the jams, brothers and sisters.

— Rick Krueger

MC50 2018 Tour Dates:
09/05 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution Live
09/06 – St. Augustine, FL @ Backyard Stage at St. Augustine Amphitheatre
09/07 – Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse
09/08 – Raleigh, NC @ Hopscotch Music Festival
09/09 – Nashville, TN @ Exit/In
09/11 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
09/12 – New Haven, CT @ College Street Music Hall
09/13 – Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
09/14 – Huntington, NY @ The Paramount
09/15 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
09/17 – New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
09/18 – Montreal, QC @ Corona Theatre
09/19 – Toronto, ON @ Danforth Music Hall
09/21 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr. Smalls Theatre
09/22 – Grand Rapids, MI @ 20 Monroe Live
09/23 – Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues
09/25 – Milwaukee, WI @ Turner Hall Ballroom
09/26 – St. Louis, MO @ The Ready Room
09/28 – Austin, TX @ Mohawk
09/29 – Dallas, TX @ Granada Theater
10/01 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Marquee
10/02 – Las Vegas, NV @ Brooklyn Bowl
10/03 – San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
10/04 – San Francisco, CA @ The Regency Ballroom
10/05 – Los Angeles, CA @ John Anson Ford
10/15 – Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater
10/16 – Seattle, WA @ The Showbox
10/17 – Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom
10/19 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Metro Music Hall
10/20 – Denver, CO @ Gothic Theatre
10/23 – Minneapolis, MN @ Varsity Theater
10/24 – Chicago, IL @ Metro Chicago
10/25 – Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart’s
10/26 – Detroit, MI @ St. Andrew’s Hall
10/27 – Detroit, MI @ The Fillmore

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