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The Sonics Define Ages, Prove It At Thalia Hall

By Casey Moffitt in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 26, 2015 6:00PM

photo credit - Merri Sutton
The Sonics performance at the beautiful Thalia Hall Friday night proved that age is just a number and you're only too old to rock if you think you are.

The Sonics formed back in 1963 in Tacoma, Wash. and split by 1969. But in that brief time, they developed a distinctly aggressive sound in rock music that helped lay the groundwork for garage, punk, metal and other hard rock successors, and their music continues to resonate with fans today. After reuniting in 2007, the band released a new album last month, This Is The Sonics, and is traversing the nation on its first coast-to-coast U.S. tour.

Friday's edition really was a fun show, as the band smoked through a good mix of new tunes and classics. They played eight of the new album's 12 tracks, and luckily those numbers don't stray too far from the familiar formula The Sonics developed more than 50 years ago. The band seemed charged up to play the new songs as they attacked them a little bit harder than the classics.

Still, the band's old numbers sounded great and it was cool to hear them played side-by-side in one night. Hearing all those songs during the show, it was easy to discern just how influential the band became after they split. In their catalog can be heard some Mudhoney licks, game changers that Slayer made familiar, melodies borrowed by The Tubes, the list went on.

Three original members of The Sonics remained on the stage: guitarist Larry Parypa, keyboardist Jerry Rosalie and saxophonist Rob Lind. They were joined by Freddie Dennis on bass and Dusty Watson on drums. Watson's performance, in particular, was impressive. He had no trouble keeping a steady beat all night long, even when things nearly derailed during a version of "Louie Louie." Lind still can wail a sweet sax solo and Rosalie's keyboard work was nimble and clean. Parypa complained a couple of times about the lighting saying he had trouble seeing his guitar, but he still managed to lay down a few wicked licks.

After the band dropped its encore with a smoking version of "I Don't Need No Doctor," "Strychnine" and "The Witch," it was evident The Sonics still can bring it, and we were glad to have the chance to enjoy it while the boys can offer it.