Review by Fred Rudofsky
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk, Gene Sennes
“These bum notes you hear tonight will be different tomorrow night,” quipped Ian McLagan to a room full of fans at The Linda on a recent Monday night. Only a musician of his caliber, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, could find fault with his own performance midway through one of the best concerts in Nippertown this year.
Accompanied by Jon Notarthomas on bass, occasional guitar and harmony vocals, McLagan embraced his illustrious past with the Small Faces and the Faces while offering generous helpings from his fecund solo career. Standing behind his keyboard – the man just never sits down – he was a rocking raconteur, singing and storytelling with the raspy vigor of someone who has had a real good time despite the vicissitudes of crooked managers (“We made peace with Andrew Loog Oldham, but not the late Don Arden – so fuck ‘im!!”) and mercurial lead singers (“Rod Stewart hated the key, so Ronnie Wood chose to sing it”). He gave shout-outs to his adopted hometown (“Come to Austin! Come to the Lucky Lounge!” “), offered a hilarious substitute curse for when children are in the audience (“Gwyneth Paltrow! It makes me feel rather good just saying her name!”), spoke with great wit and love about his Irish relatives, and railed quite compellingly against the scam against musicians that is Spotify and the woeful sonic inadequacies of MP3s.