Ginger's Hard Rock Cuts Bid NYC Adieu

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Ginger of the Wildhearts / Photo by Jackie Roman
WRITTEN BY
Abby Everdell

Stripped of pretension, what separates a rock god from the wannabe masses is the way he wears his bandanna on his wrist, grit on his sleeve, and above all, how he engages his audience. The legendary Ginger of the Wildhearts -- Bono-coif, flame tattoos, hawk profile and all -- unaffectedly greeted friends and acquaintances as he took the stage at Pianos last night (April 24). Following a self-conscious but amusing introduction by emcee Dave, the seven-member band of "friends" launched into a set culled from Ginger's huge catalogue of classic hard rock gems.

After finishing the first number -- "This is Only a Problem," from Valor del Corazon -- with a burst of "the best feedback in New York," the charismatic singer began what seemed to be his favorite part of performing: the banter. Ginger paused between almost every song (and sometimes mid-song) to patter in his North England brogue; teasing band mates, asking the audience for water, and professing sobriety (though, judging from Dave's introduction, pot is not considered a drug in these parts). Ginger seemed completely without urgency, relishing the last of his solo shows without the Wildhearts.

Ginger's residency at Pianos gave dilettantes the opportunity to mix with die-hards, resulting in varied reactions to the show. The rapport worth watching was not between the frontman and audience, but rather that between the musicians as they locked in to song after perfectly crafted song of the career spanning set (only two tunes came from the recently released Market Harbour). Though Ginger's erratic behavior may have undercut his success in the past, last night's performance showed him to be as committed as ever to the power and magnetism of hard rock.


Ginger and Friends / Photo by Jackie Roman


Ginger and Friends / Photo by Jackie Roman


Ginger and Friends / Photo by Jackie Roman


Ginger and Friends / Photo by Jackie Roman

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