“Flower power” was in full force in the ’60s, but that didn’t mean there weren’t plenty of other rock bands that went against the psychedelic grain. Detroit’s MC5 represented the grittier underground, which didn’t just make rougher music, but also was more interested in addressing social and political issues head-on rather than drawing on escapism and transcendence. MC5’s classic 1969 debut album, Kick Out The Jams, was recorded live at shows in their Detroit hometown from a year earlier.
Those two shows took place on Oct. 30-31 at Grande Ballroom, and you can hear portions from one of those performances below. The band performed songs like “Motor City is Burning,” “I Believe to My Soul” and “Rocket Reducer No. 62.” Many of these are alternate takes not used for the album, but selections like “Motor City is Burning” are potentially even more vigorous than the LP version.
Hear MC5 perform live in Detroit via the Paste vault below.