Sheer Volume: That's Slade in a nutshell
SLADE / AUDITORIUM THEATRE, 16/10/1973
SLADE'S lead singer last night called out to the crowd that filled about half of the Auditorium Theater, "Is e-e-e--everybawdy cra-a-a-azy!!!" Of course, the hyper tense assemblage answered, "Yeah!" This was very truthful of them, especially when you consider the high cost of rock entertainment these days. And with so much good rock entertainment around these days I (feverishly rubbing my ears to see if they were still working) could not help but wonder why anyone would bother to see Slade.
Let's face it. A few artless people may call this jolly band of former skinheads "art", but it's really just a bad joke that proved to be slightly profitable. Dear friends, you don't encourage a bad joke. When you do, it spreads.
Before going any further in this innocent attempt to get even with Slade for what they did to my hearing (as of this writing their music, which even they call "noise", is still swashing around in my inner ear), I wish to point out that no slight is intended for the Climax Blues Band, the highly competent rockers who warmed up the show.
CLIMAX BLUES Band's arrangements of standards like "Seventh Son", and their own originals fully deserved the encore they graciously delivered. Their lead guitarist rendered a spellbinding solo on bottle-neck guitar that made the whole trip worth it for this reporter.
Then, Slade came on, the crowd of boogie freaks leaped to its feet with no intention of sitting again and Slade looked good in superfly British "yob" (street bandit) fashions. They looked good, that is, until they started playing their instruments.
Noddy Holder, lead guitarist and the flashiest of the quartet's members, glittered in a silver, skintight Buck Rogers spaceman outfit, complete with six-inch-high platform shoes, a "Super Yob" emblem on his chest and a silver, custom-made, ray-gun-shaped guitar to match. The rest of the band, in more traditional yet colorful fashion, resembled the guests at a mad tea party.
Besides their own "C'mon Feel the Noise", "The Whole World's Gone Crazy" and "We're all Crazy Now", the band presented rearrangements of "Move Over", "Darling Be Home Soon" and "A Little Bit Your Love". You could not help but feel the noise.
Slade's show sparks explosive response (especially from the 14-year-olds) only because of its powerful drummer who uses inch-thick sticks and its clever lead vocalist whose delivery sounds like a cross between an evangelist and a carnival barker.
This was the band's second Chicago appearance and the house was far from packed. Slade reportedly made a heavy impression on it's homeland's citizenry, but hopefully Americans are made of stronger stuff.
Clarence Page, The Chicago Tribune, 17/10/1973