SIN CITY TRIPLE THREAT
Warrant, Skid Row and Kix all rock Las Vegas
By: Dizzy DeVille
LAS VEGAS, Nevada — Hard rock is alive and well in Sin City. Warrant kicked off the weekend with a CD release party and concert at the PBR Rock Bar inside Planet Hollywood on the Las Vegas Strip Friday night. The band debuted their 10th studio album “Louder Harder Faster” featuring original members Joey Allen, Jerry Dixon, Erik Turner, Steven Sweet and singer since 2008, Robert Mason.
The show was scheduled to start at 10:00PM but the Down Boys didn’t hit the stage until nearly 11:30. The crowd started to get restless but the Warrant faithful were rewarded for their patience with a great performance. The small venue allowed the fans to get up close and personal with the band and provided a great atmosphere for a rock show.
Robert Mason’s mic stand tricks got old quickly but his vocals were on point. He did every Janie Lane era song justice and lead the band with charisma. Erik Turner and Joey Allen sounded as good as ever, although I’m still not convinced that Joey is the same guy from the heyday as he looks more like uncle Fester than he does a rock star. Conversely, Jerry Dixon doesn’t seem to age and his playing was in lock step with drummer Steven Sweet throughout the set.
They tore through the set with mainstays such as “Down Boys”, “32 Pennies”, “DRFSR” and “Big Talk” along with their hard-hitting new song “Louder Harder Faster”. For a change of pace, they played a rocked-out version of the Merle Haggard song “I think I’ll just stay here and drink” which got the country crowd singing along.
The band shined it’s brightest when they played their famous ballads “Heaven”, “I saw Red” and “Sometimes she Cries” and finished with crowd favorites “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” and of course “Cherry Pie”.
Saturday night brought the combo of Kix and Skid Row to the Showroom at the Cannery Casino in North Las Vegas.
Kix came out on time and ready to “rock your face off” in the words of lead singer Steve Whiteman. He delivered on his promise by playing a 45-minute set flew by with “Don’t close your eyes” being the centerpiece. Whiteman jokingly asked for more applause at the conclusion of the song saying “we only got the one!” referring to their biggest hit. The front man moved all over the stage and put forth an energetic performance with a lot of fan involvement, even giving a young fan a chance to sing the chorus to “cold blood”. Kix ended their set with a bang playing the hard rocking “blow my fuse”.
By the time Kix left the stage the Showroom at the Cannery was filling up and looking close to capacity in anticipation of Skid Row. “Slave to the Grind” got the crowd on their feet as the band ran onto the stage to start the show with one of their heaviest songs in their repertoire.
Skid Row has a new front man in ZP Theart, former lead singer for the power metal band Dragon Force. ZP is from South Africa and has been with the band for a little over a year. He’s been tasked with the job of filling the “vocal shoes” of Sebastian Bach and does so with flying colors. His stage presence, long, jet black hair and powerful voice should ease even the die-hard Skid Row fans from pining for Sebastian.
Rachel Bolan, still sporting the nose ring to earring chain is obviously the leader of the band. He took the time to address the crowd and thanked them for their continuous support and for keeping rock alive. He then took the mic and sang “Psycho Therapy” by the Ramones, one of his major influences. The two other original members Dave “snake” Sabo and Scotti Hill took turns playing leads and hit every note. Scotti moved all over the stage looking like an escaped convict in his jumpsuit and evil smile while Snake played with his cool, laid back style as usual.
They peeled through their catalog of hits including “big guns”, “sweet little sister” and built up to “18 and life”, the smash hit from their 1989 self-titled debut album. They ended their set with my personal favorite “monkey business”, the ballad “I remember you” and of course the finale of “youth gone wild”.
Skid Row’s stage show and songs have stood the test of time and remain a powerful force. Their mix of power metal songs, ballads and melodic rock make them a unique band that can still fill an auditorium with fans and put on an amazing show.
After the show was over Rachel Bolan did his Rock N Roll Radio Show at a restaurant inside the casino which features himself and Ryan Cook playing classic rock. ZP and drummer Rob Hammersmith also took the time to meet fans, take pictures and sign autographs after the show.
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