It’s often said that some of the best art is created from pain and suffering. Well Kid Dakota’s new album “Denervation” certainly has more than its share of those during conception and creation. It was written as Darren Jackson recovered from a bicycle accident that broke his pelvis, and saw the passing of one of Jackson’s close friends and influencers. There is a darkness to the record but the drive to overcome and live on is evident even in its darkest moments. With that in mind, I found myself at the Icehouse on a Saturday night, ready to see Kid Dakota live.
Alan Sparhawk opened the show with a solo set. I have seen him in many of his manifestations (Low, A Murder Of Crows) and this set may just be my favorite of his yet. It felt rather personal without anything getting in the way. There is something about the Icehouse that seems to break down the barrier between performer and audience.
Sparhawk was chatting with fans through his set, from the history of his guitar to wrestling names. The surprise close to his set (for me at least) was “Be Nice To People With Lice”. I had never heard the song before and had a good chuckle at the lyrics.
Kid Dakota started the set with just Jackson and his drummer on stage and a drone intro. The first few songs that had not found their way on any of his albums yet. One of them will be on a vinyl re-issue of his first album later this year. The songs were challenging in a very good way. Drone, spoken word and lyrics one has to pay attention to. At times the sound felt a bit like The Doors. I had not expected to be pushed into the deep end of Kid Dakota’s talent but it was very interesting and enjoyable.
After a few songs, the rest of his band joined him on stage and songs from “Denervation”. My personal favorite of the show was “The Convalescent”. Hi new songs cover a wide range and style, something he credits his many collaborators with. For all the sad inspiration behind it, this feels like an energetic, almost healing album that translates very well to live performances.
A special thanks to the gentlemen with the fantastic beard, red hat and coat – you made my night :). Oh and as a native of Salzburg, Austria a thumbs up to Jackson to his choice of beverages, a Stiegl Grapefruit Radler. All said, I enjoyed the show quite a bit more than I expected and recommend Kid Dakota’s album or seeing him life.