Britain's Slade at top of a 14th St. bill
GRIN / BLACK OAK ARKANSAS / SLADE
SLADE / ACADEMY OF MUSIC, NEW YORK 20TH APRIL 1973
Slade, headlining the Friday show at the Academy of Music on 14th Street, is obviously a group on the way up.
Grin, the group that opened the evening, had to suffer heckling from the Slade enthusiasts impatiently waiting for the British group to appear. And the members of Grin, competent enough, were unable to bear it, even when they turned up their energy in an attempt to Novocain the audience into submission.
Following Grin was Black Oak Arkansas, which took no chances from the start. This group's sound was turned up to nosebleed levels, vocals were rasped hoarsely across the relentless amplification, and the announcements between the group's Southern, heavy-on-the-bass rock numbers had the urgency of end-of-the-world revivalism.
For Black Oak, the audience was converted at the finish, although one yearned for a little subtlety amid all the pounding.
Slade specializes in short explosive lyrics, simple and direct, that bring strong audience response through riff and repetition. In reality, this is good-old-fashioned rock n' roll presented with flash and confidence as the quartet choreographed itself on stage rather than jumping and writhing around. This is yet another example of a rock group moving back to simplicity in music.
Novelty note: Away from the hot and the heavy, Slade presented "Lady Be Good" on electric violin, Black Oak a washboard solo, and Grin's lead singer did a perfect somersault from a small trampoline on the side of the stage.
Alas poor Grin: not even that moved the Slade freaks.
Ian Dove The New York Times - 22/4/1973