Flashback: MC5 celebrate 50 years of punk rock greatness at Le Poisson Rouge

On August 29, 2019, MC5 founding guitarist Wayne Kramer brought his supergroup MC50 to Le Poisson Rouge in New York City to celebrate 50 years of punk rock greatness. The group consisted of guitarist Kim Thayil (Soundgarden), drummer Brendan Canty (Fugazi), bassist Billy Gould (Faith No More) and singer Marcus Durant (Zen Gorilla).

MC5 is considered one of the most important American hard rock groups of their era. The band performed as part of the protests of the Vietnam War at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago that were broken up by a police riot. According to Kramer in an interview featured in the documentary “Get up, Stand Up,” the band played for over eight hours straight when the other bands scheduled to perform didn’t show because of the chaos.

“Kick Out the Jams” was released as a single in March 1969 by Elektra Records. It has been covered by numerous bands including Bad Brains and Rage Against the Machine. The band’s debut album of the same name was released a month earlier and was recorded at Detroit’s Grande Ballroom over two nights, Devil’s Night and Halloween, 1968.

The band played the entire “Kick Out the Jams” debut album. They also played songs from MC5’s other two albums including “Tonight,” “Everything” and “Let Me Try.” They sounded great as they ripped through their 80 minute set at the very intimate but temporarily closed Greenwich Village venue LPR. The show was one of the only three shows the band played in the United States in 2019 before going to the United Kingdom to open for Alice Cooper for another seven shows.

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