Friday, December 30, 2016

The Dictators NYC at the Bowery Electric

Ross the Boss (left) & Handsome Dick Manitoba
The Dictators formed in New York City in 1973 in the shadow of hammering Detroit-styled rock and roll bands like MC5 and the Stooges. In short time, the band's roadie and occasional singer, Richard "Handsome Dick Manitoba" Blum, was given a more prominent role and became the proto-punk band's iconic front person. The band experienced breakups and several significant personnel changes, and now the renamed Dictators NYC consists of Manitoba, original guitarist Ross "The Boss" Friedman (aka Ross Funicello), guitarist Daniel Ray (formerly of Manitoba's Wild Kingdom), bassist Dean Rispler, and drummer JP “Thunderbolt” Patterson (formerly of Manitoba's Wild Kingdom).

The Dictators NYC has not recorded music, but in concert revisits the catalogue of the earlier band. At the Bowery Electric tonight, the Dictators NYC performed the Dictators' entire third album, 1978's Bloodbrothers, plus additional songs from the Dictators catalog. Two nights earlier, the Dictators NYC recreated the Dictators' 1975 debut, Go Girl Crazy, at Berlin. As such, these shows required the new band to learn songs that had not been played live by any band in decades. Fortunately, neither the Dictators nor the Dictators NYC are known for precision. Tonight's concert started with the nine songs from Bloodbrothers and concluded with five songs from the band's regular set. Manitoba introduced most of the songs with a humorous anecdote or a loose cannon rambling. Led by Manitoba's wry personality and able musicianship from the rest of the band, the Dictators put on a show that both rocked and generated laughs. That is what the audience gets at a Dictators NYC show, and that is good.

Setlist
  1. Faster and Louder
  2. Baby, Let's Twist
  3. No Tomorrow
  4. The Minnesota Strip
  5. Stay with Me
  6. I Stand Tall
  7. Borneo Jimmy
  8. What It Is
  9. Slow Death (The Flamin' Groovies cover)
  10. Who Will Save Rock and Roll?
  11. Weekend
  12. Two Tub Man
  13. Next Big Thing
  14. Kick Out the Jams (MC5 cover)