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Gig review: The Babys Return As Strong As Ever to Orlando’s Plaza Live: Review + Photos

September 10, 2015 // 0 Comments

Steven Neff/ Music Enthusiast Magazine It’s amazing how quickly 30 years can slip by. So it was that rock fans were treated to classic rock candy as The Babys made their way to central Florida at the Plaza Live Orlando. After a 30+ year hiatus, The Babys are back on their feet again and getting back on the road with new material, much to the delight of adoring fans who thought the beloved rock band had met their demise so many years ago. This revamped band has picked up where the original left off and continues in the tradition that carried The Babys to the heights among the most popular of rock bands of their time, with classic anthems like “Every Time I Think Of You,” “Back On My Feet Again’ and “Midnight Rendezvous”; all of which still continue to play on the classic FM dial. Original members Tony Brock and Wally Stocker have brought a solid collaboration of talent together with dynamic vocalist and bassist John Bisaha and guitar virtuoso Joey Sykes for fans to once again experience the music that is The Babys. Also a welcome sight is the return of The Babys back-up vocals now sung through the addition of the beautiful songstresses The Babettes. Brock and Stocker needed a front man that was able to pull off the songs made great during the John Waite years in order to make the band’s resurrection possible. They found it in John Bisaha whose powerful lead vocals have been just what was needed to begin a new era in The Babys return to the studio and the stage. Also noteworthy is the added dimension brought by guitarist Joey Sykes, whom Wally Stocker has said “adds a whole new dimension to the band and has a style that works well in tandem with me.” Audience response to the band’s new incarnation had been positive coming into Orlando. Up until the band would take stage, Mother Nature had been dishing out her own classic sound of downpours and lightning. However, this didn’t stop The Babys faithful from coming out on what would be a night of memorable anthems from a solid collection of music nearly 40 years young and six albums. Before The Babys would take the Orlando stage for the first time, the audience would be served up with a high caliber performance by 80’s Hair Metal band Nova Rex who proved to be a great compliment in opening for the band from Britain. When it came time for the classic headliners to take the stage, The Babys immediately broke into “Back On My Feet Again” from their ‘Union Jacks’ album to the overwhelming applause of the energized crowd. The melodic anthology of The Babys had begun in what was a solid selection of nostalgic tracks that even included some from their latest studio effort, ‘I’ll Have Some Of That.’ “Midnight Rendezvous” from their ‘Union Jacks’ album soon followed, along with “Isn’t It Time” from the ‘Broken Heart’ album. Wally Stocker’s epic guitar solos would captivate the crowd in the classic Babys style during what was an eighteen song track list. Watching the response of appreciation from the crowd proved that the Babys had delivered what fans had asked for; a memorable concert experience. “I See You There,” “Sunrise & Goodbyes” and “Not Ready To Say Goodbye,” from The Babys latest studio effort, ‘I’ll Have Some of That,’ all made their way to the mic; proving that The Babys aren’t ready to say goodbye, just yet. The Babys return is good for rock music as well as for dedicated fans and proves that classic rock music is still alive and well. The Babys are back in their groove again and it’s a beautiful thing. The Babys Set List, The Plaza Live, Orlando, FL 7.25.15 Back On My Feet Again Midnight Rendezvous Give Me Your Love Anytime Isn’t It Time I See You There Love Don’t’ Prove I’m Right And If You Could See Me Fly Sunrise & Goodbyes Darker Side Of Town Wrong Or Right Not Ready To Say Goodbye Every Time I Think Of You Postcard Looking For Love Run To Mexico Turn And Walk Away Head First Gallery Steven Neff/ Music Enthusiast Magazine Steven Neff/ Music Enthusiast Magazine Steven Neff/ Music Enthusiast Magazine Steven Neff/ Music Enthusiast Magazine Steven Neff/ Music Enthusiast Magazine Steven Neff/ Music Enthusiast Magazine Steven Neff/ Music Enthusiast Magazine The post The Babys Return As Strong As Ever to Orlando’s Plaza Live: Review + Photos appeared first on Music Enthusiast Magazine . [read on]

Gig review: Whitesnake Injects Blues Rock Into the Heart of Orlando: Review + Photos

September 10, 2015 // 0 Comments

William Clark/ Music Enthusiast Magazine If one were to name off the most influential bands to find their claim to fame as part of the 1980s glam metal and hard rock movement, Whitesnake would be at the top of that list. Particularly thanks to the John Sykes and Adrian Vandenberg incarnations, Whitesnake became a household name following the mainstream success of such definitive anthems as “Still of the Night,” “Slow an’ Easy” and the reworked version of “Here I Go Again.” That being said, Whitesnake’s recent visit to Orlando’s Hard Rock Live was more of a blues rock affair than a glam metal presentation. This most likely left some dedicated fans feeling nostalgic and conjuring memories of the ‘Lovehunter’ years, while leaving the casual listeners feeling lost among the thrilling harmonica solos and slide guitar work that found it’s way into the performance. The same could just as well be said for the album that Whitesnake are currently touring in support of, ‘The Purple Album .’ This installment has left some advocates divided over the fact that the record is entirely comprised of new renditions of vintage Deep Purple tunes from David Coverdale ‘s time in the iconic rock group. Critics may as well be damned, as the members of Whitesnake were in top form throughout their thrilling performance. Following a brief rendition of The Who ‘s “My Generation,” the band gradually found their way onstage before tearing into the explosive themes of “Burn.” Coverdale’s snarling falsetto was as brutal as ever, while the duo of Reb Beach and newcomer Joel Hoekstra sped through blistering guitar solos. “Here’s a song for ya!” Coverdale prominently proclaimed before the introduction of “Slide It In,” which sent both the occasional and dedicated Whitesnake fan into a frenzy. Having considerably trimmed down their current set list to include more original compositions than cover tunes, Whitesnake continued to progress into the adrenalized yet melodic themes of “Love Ain’t No Stranger.” Rock fans who actively pursue bewildering vocal harmonies shouldn’t look further than Whitesnake’s version of Deep Purple’s “The Gypsy,” which had an enhanced attitude and perhaps even surpassed the end result found on the latest Whitesnake record. Regularly alternating between two different mediums in attempt to please each ticket holder, the members of Whitesnake shuffled between the revitalized “Mistreated” and “You Fool No One,” the most recent “Forevermore” that was completed by some choice acoustic guitar playing from Hoekstra, and vintage favorites in “Is This Love” and the often overlooked “Bad Boys.” No Whitesnake show would be complete without the obligatory renditions of “Here I Go Again” and “Still of the Night,” for which Coverdale still managed to force out those striking Robert Plant -esque screams. The crowd interaction was at it’s finest during these two tracks, and left every attending audience member on their feet and screaming along. The Dead Daises, which prominently features such veteran rock talent as former Motley Crue singer John Corabi and estranged Guns N’ Roses keyboardist Dizzy Reed, offered impeccable support during the event with their astounding breed of hard rock that left interested Whitesnake fans amazed. Whitesnake Set List, Hard Rock Live, Orlando, FL 8.03.15 Burn (Deep Purple cover) Slide It In Love Ain’t No Stranger The Gypsy (Deep Purple cover) Give Me All Your Love You Keep On Moving (Deep Purple cover) Forevermore Mistreated (Deep Purple cover) You Fool No One (Deep Purple cover) Drum Solo Is This Love Bad Boys Here I Go Again Still of the Night Gallery The Dead Dasies William Clark/ Music Enthusiast Magazine William Clark/ Music Enthusiast Magazine William Clark/ Music Enthusiast Magazine William Clark/ Music Enthusiast Magazine Whitesnake William Clark/ Music Enthusiast Magazine William Clark/ Music Enthusiast Magazine William Clark/ Music Enthusiast Magazine William Clark/ Music Enthusiast Magazine William Clark/ Music Enthusiast Magazine William Clark/ Music Enthusiast Magazine William Clark/ Music Enthusiast Magazine William Clark/ Music Enthusiast Magazine William Clark/ Music Enthusiast Magazine The post Whitesnake Injects Blues Rock Into the Heart of Orlando: Review + Photos appeared first on Music Enthusiast Magazine . [read on]

Gig review: Slightly Stoopid’s ‘Everything Is Awesome’ Tour Makes a Stop in Cocoa: Review + Photos

September 10, 2015 // 0 Comments

Steven Neff/ Music Enthusiast Magazine Reggae rock heavyweights Slightly Stoopid made their way into Cocoa, Florida recently as part of their ‘Everything Is Awesome’ summer tour which includes 25 stops across the country. Since their formation in 1994, Slightly Stoopid has released eight studio albums, included the band’s latest effort titled ‘Meanwhile…Back at the Lab,’ which was released in June 2015. Slightly Stoopid has enjoyed a strong following throughout the years, which was evidenced at this Cocoa show by the sold out crowd that braved the torrential rains shortly before concert time. The band, who describes their music as “a fusion of folk, rock, reggae and blues with hip-hop, funk, metal, and punk,” was met by thousands of faithful at Riverfront Park for what was soon to be a memorable night of good vibe proportions by the band that’s been credited as “producing some of the most iconic west coast reggae music.” Before the Long Beach, California natives could take the stage, Dirty Heads would open with a shortened setlist, caused largely in part by the heavy rains that pummeled the area. Despite the fact that Mother Nature proved she could be one fickle bitch, Dirty Heads performed a solid set of music to an already packed park. Now with four studio albums to their credit and a strong following of their own, Dirty Heads proved to be the perfect complement to Slightly Stoopid’s signature sound. Cheers erupted among Riverfront’s standing only crowd as Slightly Stoopid made their way to the open air stage. From their ‘Everything You Need’ album came their tracks “Mr. Officer” and “Running With A Gun,” both of which were met with resounding applause. ‘Closer to the Sun’s’ “Bandelero” highlighted a strong inclusion of the saxophone mixed with smooth vocals and vibe moving guitars. Similarly, “Ese Loco” from the album ‘The Longest Barrel Ride’ would then catapult the crowd back into a fast paced rock frenzy. The diversity and talent of this band was evident to those in attendance as they smoothly transitioned from reggae to hip hop; then changing direction to display some solid guitar work and following up with an unexpected but formidable saxophone session from the band’s horn section.   Sax solos are almost a thing of the past in music today, but Slightly Stoopid made it a part of their concert repertoire with a stand out solo from Karl Denson during their track selection “Closer To The Sun” from the album of the same name. In all, Slightly Stoopid offered up selections spanning seven albums before ending the set with “Express Yourself” with Dirty Heads to the delight of everyone present. Looking across the sea of outstretched arms moving to the rhythms of Slightly Stoopid’s selections made for a great Friday night, leaving the inclement weather a faded memory. Slightly Stoopid Set List, Riverfront Park, Cocoa, FL 07.24.15 Intro/Mr. Officer Running With A Gun Bandelero Ese Loco 2am Pon Da Horizon Wicked Rebel Train 1 Closer To The Sun Prophet Express Yourself Gallery Dirty Heads Steven Neff/ Music Enthusiast Magazine Steven Neff/ Music Enthusiast Magazine Steven Neff/ Music Enthusiast Magazine Steven Neff/ Music Enthusiast Magazine Steven Neff/ Music Enthusiast Magazine Slightly Stoopid Steven Neff/ Music Enthusiast Magazine Steven Neff/ Music Enthusiast Magazine Steven Neff/ Music Enthusiast Magazine Steven Neff/ Music Enthusiast Magazine Steven Neff/ Music Enthusiast Magazine The post Slightly Stoopid’s ‘Everything Is Awesome’ Tour Makes a Stop in Cocoa: Review + Photos appeared first on Music Enthusiast Magazine . [read on]

Gig review: Shinedown and Nothing More Invade Kansas City’s Arvest Bank Theatre: Review + Photos

September 10, 2015 // 0 Comments

Jason Atherton/ Music Enthusiast Magazine Sunday, August 2nd , Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland was sold out. Concert goers expected a huge show. They got three stars that night; Shinedown , Nothing More , and the vacuum! Doors opened at 7:00 PM and Nothing More was scheduled for 7:55 PM. The stage was dark. Johnny, Daniel, Mark, and Paul took their marks on stage. Deep blue lights began to illuminate the creating an ominous feel for what was to come. Hawkins stood tall over an oversized drum in blue jeans and was shirtless. It didn’t take long for the lights to flash bright and the sound to come hard. Hawkins belted out a number of songs highlighted by their most popular song “This Is The Time (Ballast),” where it seemed everyone in the crowd sang along note for note. Midway through the set Hawkins made special mention and thanks to location radio station KQRC 98.9 The Rock for their support of the band over the years and radio playtime. He even went so far to bring up Rockfest in Kansas City where rain destroyed their entire set of equipment, but was still a career favorite. Nothing More finished an intense set, and as far as summer tours are concerned, the double bill of Nothing More and Shinedown was already a success. The lights went out. Music came on while the stage was changed over. The crew cleared equipment and swept the stage. A vacuum was on stage. As Shinedown’s set time approached the vacuum was moved and the crowd groaned. The stagehand looked back at the crowd and left the vacuum. For whatever reason the crowd cheered. Taking it to the next level, the stagehand moved the vacuum up onto a staircase at mid stage and turned the vacuum on. It whirred and shined its little light back at the crowd. They went wild. Oddly enough it went on for a few minutes then then it was time for the real star to take the stage. Shinedown took the stage under darkness. Brent took center on top of a small stage in typical Brent Smith fashion; feet spread far apart, chest puffed out, and ready to impress a crowd of people with their sound of rock. Popular chorus echoed throughout the venue as the crowd frequently sang in harmony with songs like “Bully” and “Diamond Eyes.” An impressive light rig towered over the band during their set. Lights literally shined down on the artists, providing a vast array of lighting setups and eye candy for the sold out venue. The full house of rock fans roared as Shinedown finished the night with the ever popular “Sound of Madness,” the title track of their popular 2008 studio album. Aside from a few hijinks and bizarre moments – alright, this is pretty much just about the vacuum – the audience went home feeling satiated from a memorable evening of exciting hard rock. Shinedown Setlist 08/02/2015 Kansas City, MO Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland Asking For It Crying Out If You Only Knew Unity Crow Diamond Eyes I’ll Follow You Enemies I Dare You In Memory Through The Ghost Cut The Cord Devour 45 Bully Second Chance Simple Man Sound Of Madness Gallery Nothing More Jason Atherton/ Music Enthusiast Magazine Jason Atherton/ Music Enthusiast Magazine Jason Atherton/ Music Enthusiast Magazine Jason Atherton/ Music Enthusiast Magazine Jason Atherton/ Music Enthusiast Magazine Jason Atherton/ Music Enthusiast Magazine Jason Atherton/ Music Enthusiast Magazine Jason Atherton/ Music Enthusiast Magazine Shinedown Jason Atherton/ Music Enthusiast Magazine Jason Atherton/ Music Enthusiast Magazine Jason Atherton/ Music Enthusiast Magazine Jason Atherton/ Music Enthusiast Magazine Jason Atherton/ Music Enthusiast Magazine Jason Atherton/ Music Enthusiast Magazine The post Shinedown and Nothing More Invade Kansas City’s Arvest Bank Theatre: Review + Photos appeared first on Music Enthusiast Magazine . [read on]

Gig review: Bon Jovi, ‘Burning Bridges’ – Album Review

September 10, 2015 // 0 Comments

Mercury Bon Jovi are in a somewhat unique situation with the release of their thirteenth studio album, ‘Burning Bridges.’ For the first time in the entire history of the band, dedicated listeners find themselves staring down a Bon Jovi record that doesn’t feature founding member and guitarist Richie Sambora , despite the fact that Sambora’s name does appear on a writing credit. Around all of the controversy and mixed emotions surrounding this new installment, what we find on ‘Burning Bridges’ is a more straightforward hard rock album that we have heard from a new Bon Jovi release in some time. Does some of that credit come from the fact that this material spawns entirely from uncompleted tracks from previous recording sessions? Likely, however that doesn’t take away from the end result found here. The anthemic refrain to the lead single “We Don’t Run” is impossible for seasoned listeners to escape from and will likely become a live staple during the upcoming Bon Jovi international tour. The same could just as easily be said for the Sambora-penned “Saturday Night Gave Me Sunday Morning,” which is by far the strongest track to be found on ‘Burning Bridges’ and is one of the most formidable Bon Jovi tracks since “I Want to Be Loved” from the ‘Have a Nice Day’ album. These two songs are evidence that mainman Jon Bon Jovi isn’t too caught up in the departure of Sambora from the lineup. In the case of the former, it seems as though the rock vocalist is energized rather than depressed. “Not afraid of burning bridges/ Because I know they’re gonna light my way ,” Jon snarls above an unusually aggressive chord progression. Outside of the heartland rock themes of “I’m Your Man” and the title track “Burning Bridges,” we come across a number of laidback, suspenseful selections which still keep the momentum heading forward. Take for example the opening number “A Teardrop to the Sea,” whose melancholic overtones is propelled by echoing vocal melodies and flickering hints of distortion. “Blind Love” is a romanticized piano ballad where Jon Bon Jovi stands front and center, not unlike the vast majority of the frequently disappointing 2013 release ‘What About Now.’ The main difference here is that there appears to be an additional element in Jon’s vocal performance which actually compels the listener to take interest in a love gone wrong. ‘Burning Bridges’ is certainly a welcome upgrade from the overt soft rock experience that is ‘What About Now.’ While there is still the fair share of contemporary rock pieces best suited for the country campfire ala “Who Would You Die For” and “Life is Beautiful,” there are frankly more worthwhile moments than subpar ones to be found throughout. The compilation of rehashed material found on ‘Burning Bridges’ has been described by the band as a “fan album,” otherwise explained as a new release for fans to hold on to as Bon Jovi prepares their first studio album of original material with their current lineup. Although the origins of the album’s most notable tracks might have some fans questioning the potential of the next release, there is still enough quality compositions on ‘Burning Bridges’ to keep Bon Jovi fans holding on.     The post Bon Jovi, ‘Burning Bridges’ – Album Review appeared first on Music Enthusiast Magazine . [read on]

Gig review: Nazareth Rises From the Ashes Live in Orlando: Review + Photos

September 10, 2015 // 0 Comments

William Clark/ Music Enthusiast Magazine After remaining active through new material and regularly touring the world since 1968, Nazareth appeared determined during their recent performance in Orlando at The Plaza that they wouldn’t be stopping anytime soon. This is a courageous effort, considering founding lead vocalist Dan McCafferty had to step down from the lineup in 2013 for the first time due to health problems. This sizable change in personnel preceded the release of Nazareth’s ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Telephone ‘ the following year, for which the band tried out Scottish singer Linton Osborne before ultimately naming Carl Sentance as their frontman. If there was ever an appropriate stand-in for McCafferty in the Nazareth lineup, it would have to be Sentance. Perhaps it was the fact that he was a confessed fan of the Nazareth material, or his previous work at the helm of the Geezer Butler Band and Krokus , however his abilities were prevalent as soon as Nazareth walked onstage with “Silver Dollar Forger (Parts 1 & 2).” It would have been rather easy for Nazareth to return to Central Florida armed and ready with a set list comprised solely of the standard assortment of ‘Greatest Hits,’ and yet that wouldn’t prove to be the case. Instead, the members of Nazareth treated attentive fans to such rarities as “This Month’s Messiah” off of ‘The Catch’ and “This Flight Tonight” from ‘Loud ‘n’ Proud.’ When you’re dealing with a band of vintage prominence like Nazareth, there is still a welcome variety of nostalgia to be found throughout their live shows. Casual listeners found this in the welcome renditions of “Miss Misery,” “Razamanaz” and “Beggars Day,” where longtime lead guitarist Jimmy Murrison would unleash a flurry of striking arpeggios. In a surprising move, bassist and surviving founding member Pete Agnew rose the excitement of the evening by pounding out the intro to the definitive rocker “Hair of the Dog” before the encore. Although it was somewhat concerning to see that the signature talk box portion wasn’t actually done by Murrison and instead was apparently fed into the speakers offstage, the anthem was still a clear highlight of the evening. Upon walking offstage, the full house began chanting for an encore from the veteran rockers. Nazareth would return with the obligatory power ballad “Love Hurts” before tearing into two unpredictable yet appreciated deep tracks, “Morning Dew” and “Broken Down Angel.” If anything was clear after that evening’s hard rock feast, it’s that Nazareth still have plenty of fight left in ’em. Nazareth Setlist 08/09/15 Orlando, FL The Plaza Live Silver Dollar Forger (Parts 1 & 2) Miss Misery Razamanaz This Flight Tonight One Set of Bones Holiday This Month’s Messiah Turn On Your Receiver Beggars Day Expect No Mercy Hair of the Dog Love Hurts Morning Dew Broken Down Angel Gallery William Clark/ Music Enthusiast Magazine William Clark/ Music Enthusiast Magazine William Clark/ Music Enthusiast Magazine William Clark/ Music Enthusiast Magazine William Clark/ Music Enthusiast Magazine William Clark/ Music Enthusiast Magazine William Clark/ Music Enthusiast Magazine William Clark/ Music Enthusiast Magazine The post Nazareth Rises From the Ashes Live in Orlando: Review + Photos appeared first on Music Enthusiast Magazine . [read on]

Gig review: Motorhead, ‘Bad Magic’ – Album Review

September 10, 2015 // 0 Comments

UDR GmbH Motorhead are unique onto themselves: they are a notorious English hard rock band that were around when Led Zeppelin first released ‘Physical Graffiti,’ have maintained a cohesive lineup for the past several decades, and are releasing new material that rivals the breed of volcanic, whiskey-laced heavy metal which decorates their most celebrated of releases. What the members of Motorhead present throughout the thirteen tracks which comprise their 21st studio album ‘Bad Magic’ is nothing short of pure, unadulterated rock and roll perfection. Although the preceding ‘Aftershock ‘ remains a worthwhile listen several years since it first hit the shelves, ‘Bad Magic’ is a whole step – make that several steps above in regard to the assertive energy and attitude of the performance. As though it were even possible, this sounds like a younger, more rebellious crew than what longtime listeners found upon the release of 1996’s ‘Overnight Sensation.’ When that raspy proclamation from mainman Lemmy Kilmister comes racing out of the speakers on the opening “Victory or Die,” the bar has been raised and Motorhead never fails at topping themselves over the course of the record. The energetic speed metal thrillers “Thunder & Lightning ” and “Choking on Your Screams” are among the most well crafted of Motorhead’s take-no-prisoners riff racers. The galloping rhythm work of guitarist Phil “Wizzo” Campbell deliquesces into the commanding percussion of Mikkey Dee so well that one almost neglects the fact that Queen alumni Brian May produces a riveting solo on “The Devil,” a bluesy hard rocker with enough grit to knock you straight out of a hangover. Of the numerous moods that surface throughout this cast of ‘Black Magic,’ the fierce grooving progression of “Shoot Out All Your Lights” is one of the more vintage-sounding displays of guitarcadia. What commences as a Mikkey Dee spotlight solo abruptly transitions into an array of single string arpeggios which launch at the rate of machine gun fire, before Lemmy resumes his role as ringleader and leads the band into an anthemic battle cry. “When the Sky Comes Looking for You” is a straightforward heavy metal groover, despite the fact that Motorhead openly detests such a notion. Perhaps that alone is an indication of how influential the music of Motorhead has been on the community of headbangers, the fact that they don’t even relate with the genre they themselves are recognized as a leader of. Any Motorhead advocate could rattle off the moments where the heavyweights offered their own rendition of another celebrated rock favorite, whether it was the cover of Richard Berry’s “Louie, Louie” for the ‘No Remorse’ album or the versions of Ozzy Osbourne ‘s “Hellraiser” and Ted Nugent ‘s “Cat Scratch Fever” that found their way onto 1992’s ‘March or Die.’ This time around, Motorhead deliver an entertaining take on the Rolling Stones classic “Sympathy for the Devil” that has more intensity and elements of the Motorhead approach integrated then you might anticipate. Forty years since they first began hitting the stage, Motorhead are still putting spells on the metal genre with ‘Bad Magic.’     The post Motorhead, ‘Bad Magic’ – Album Review appeared first on Music Enthusiast Magazine . [read on]

Gig review: The First Annual Cathouse Live! Festival Hits Irvine Meadows: Review + Photos

September 10, 2015 // 0 Comments

Tammy Greene/ Music Enthusiast Magazine Back in 1986, Riki Rachtman wanted to find a place for his friends to hang out, and if him and his roommate Taime Downe met more girls all the better. He found an old Disco club on La Cienega, persuaded the bar to let him convert it into a dance club that played rock n’ roll, and thus the Cathouse was born. Fast forward to 2015, and Rachtman joined forces with Live Nation and Sirius XM to bring the Cathouse back on an even grander scale with the Cathouse Live! festival at Irvine Meadows. The event showcased some of the finest glam metal, hard rock and heavy metal bands to arrive from the 80’s with the stifling heat raising the mercury to around 100 degrees. Concert goes shared admiration for the band members onstage, who despite the climate still donned their signature stage outfits largely comprised of jeans, long sleeves, leather pants, jackets, hats and makeup. Nothing was altered and the audience adored this dedication to the craft. Even as those Southern California ticket holders had to escape the heat wave by picking and choosing which bands they witnessed in order to tap out and seek cold drinks and forgiving shade after each set. The main stage revolved with little down time between bands, and as one group finished the stage spun around to reveal yet another layout. Opening the main stage were rising rebel metal/blues rock group Swamphammer , who took the first prize at the preceding Cathouse Live! Battle of the Bands . Having only found their way onto the stage in 2013, they demonstrated a high level of talent which started the evening off right. Following the first stage rotation, the Bulletboys preceded to take command of the crowd. Backed by their recently released studio album ‘Elefante,’ these veteran rockers started out with “Born to Breed” and closed with the signature hit “Smooth Up in Ya” to a light crowd. Despite being in the heat of the day, Bulletboys remained in top form. Next up was Trixter , who first played at Irvine Meadows back on tour with the Scorpions in 1991. Upon making note that they were the only performing band with all original members, Trixter strutted out to the themes of “Give It to Me Good” and “Heart of Steel.” After we escaped from the heat for a few band rotations, Junkyard were out taking command through the anthemic “Hollywood” and “Lost in the City.” Frontman David Roach’s face was beat red from the heat, but it didn’t stop him nor the rest of the band from putting on an impressive set. Siagon Kick followed and similarly delivered a concrete performance. Hailing from their hometown of Miami, Florida, Siagon Kick entertained the enduring crowd through songs off of their self-titled album and ‘The Lizard Water.’ When the band pulled out the classic ballad “Love Is on the Way,” the fans were all there singing along word for word. Better crowd participation followed in time for L.A. Guns ’ turn at the helm. The band’s 5:30 set time allowed for the temperature to drop a few degrees, and even a crowd of the afternoon’s musicians who already performed could be seen at the side of the stage to watch their set. Phil Lewis and boys looked and sounded great as they pulled seven songs off of ‘Cocked & Loaded,’ ‘Hollywood Vampires’ and the self-titled ‘L.A. Guns.’ Dangerous Toys similarly delivered a rowdy hard rock set, which preceded one of the event’s clear highlights. With rumors of a reunion high in the air, the crowd took their seats to watch Faster Pussycat take the stage. The audience roared when they saw Ace Von Johnson, Chad Steward, Danny Nordahl and Xristian Simon in their poses horns up. As Taime makes his grand entrance wearing black leathers, full make up, cigarette in one hand and a black umbrella in the other, Faster Pussycat opened their show with the fitting favorite “Cathouse.” Four songs into their set, Taime introduces original guitarist Greg Steel for “House of Pain.” The rumors were true. The crowd went berserk. Founding members Brent Muscat and Eric Stacy soon followed for high octane renditions of “Bathroom Wall” and “Babylon.” Seeing original members and current members on the stage together was a moment that won’t be forgotten. Stephen Pearcy followed with a set filled to the brim with Ratt and Roll, before Dokken hit the stage and led the crowd into another session of classic anthems such as “Into the Fire,” “Breaking the Chains” and “In My Dreams.” If anything was clear from these two performances, it’s that fans sure do love their Ratt and Dokken. One man wrecking crew Sebastian Bach took the stage twirling the mic around like a helicopter blade, with the hair flings and fist pumps of a 20 year old covering every part of the stage. There’s no other fitting way to say it: he kicked ass! Aside from “American Metalhead,” it was an all Skid Row set. Although he’s an advocate against cell phones at concerts, Bach embraced that this is 2015 and encouraged the crowd to light ‘em up during “I Remember You.” Another fitting moment was when Bach pulled Rachtman onstage for the start of “18 to Life,” which brought another meaning to the words: “Riki was a young boy!” Tom Keifer was another force to be reckoned with that evening. With his solo band, Keifer rolled through a set mainly of Cinderella favorites while introducing “It’s Not Enough” and “Solid Ground” from his debut solo album ‘The Way Life Goes.’ Joining Tom onstage was his wife Savannah to sing “Don’t What You Got (Till It’s Gone)” unplugged, which moved some to tears. Keeping with the spontaneous themes of the Cathouse, the band covered The Beatles’ “With a Little Help From My Friends” as every fan sang along. Closing the main stage with a sixty minute set were Extreme , and did they ever put on one hell of a show. Primarily based on the ‘Pornograffitti’ album which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, Gary Cherone’s energy was endless over the course of the show. Nuno Bettencourt’s abilities on the guitar were similarly impressive as the band rolled through acoustic takes of “More Then Words” and “Hole Hearted” as the sea of phones lit their performance. Extreme rounded out their set with a memorable version of Queen ’s “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.” As if it were even possible, by far the best occasion of the night was for Gilby Clarke’s All-Star Jam. The set started out with Riki riding out on a chopper to the side stage while thanking the crowd for the supporting. After getting a resounding “Yes!” when asked if the Cathouse Live! festival should return in 2016, the audience was welcomed up front to crowd the stage. Having Guns N’ Roses alumni Gilby Clarke in charge of the All-Star Jam didn’t disappoint, and although it was cut short due to time restraints it proved to be a jam session of great proportions. Playing in this jam were Gilby, Evan Seinfeld (Biohazard), Brent Fitz (Slash ), Chip Z’ Nuff (Enuff Z Nuff), Michael Starr (Steel Panther ), Taime Downe (Faster Pussycat), Phil Lewis (L.A. Guns), Nuno Bettencourt (Extreme) Brent Muscat (Original Faster Pussycat guitarist), Sebastian Bach (Skid Row), Riki Rachtman (Cathouse/Head Bangers Ball) and very special guest, the Spaceman himself, Ace Frehley of KISS fame. It was a treat to watch musicians that played earlier in the day join the Space Ace, who is surely someone they all have looked up to when starting their own careers. Before the last song, Bach addressed the crowd and asked if they would rather hear “Rock ‘N Roll All Nite” or “Deuce.” Surprisingly, the fans chose the latter and they still played away after the stage had rotated. You weren’t able to see them, and yet the energy was still electric. Next year is the 30th anniversary of the Cathouse, and after the success of the first annual Cathouse Live! festival I can’t imagine it will go unnoticed. Whatever Riki has planned will certainly be an epic event! Gilby Clarke’s All-Star Jam Set List David Bowie’s “The Jean Genie” – Phil Lewis (vocals), Chip Z’Nuff (bass), Brent Muscat and Gilby Clarke (guitars), Brent Fitz (drums) Iggy Pop’s “The Stooges” – Riki Rachtman and Taime Downe (vocals), Gilby Clarke (guitar), Even Seinfeld (bass) and Brent Fitz (drums) Guns N’ Roses’ “Mr Brownstone” – Michael Starr (vocals), Nuno Bettencourt and Gilby Clarke (guitars), Evan Seinfeld (bass) and Brent Fitz (drums) KISS’ “Shock Me” – Ace Frehley (vocals/guitar), Gilby Clarke (guitar), Evan Seinfeld (bass) and Brent Fitz (drums) KISS’ “Deuce” – Sebastian Bach (vocals), Ace Frehley and Gilby Clarke (guitars), Evan Seinfeld (bass) and Brent Fitz (drums) Gallery Bulletboys Tammy Greene/ Music Enthusiast Magazine Tammy Greene/ Music Enthusiast Magazine Tammy Greene/ Music Enthusiast Magazine Tammy Greene/ Music Enthusiast Magazine Trixter Tammy Greene/ Music Enthusiast Magazine Tammy Greene/ Music Enthusiast Magazine Tammy Greene/ Music Enthusiast Magazine Saigon Kick Tammy Greene/ Music Enthusiast Magazine Tammy Greene/ Music Enthusiast Magazine Tammy Greene/ Music Enthusiast Magazine L.A. 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Festival Hits Irvine Meadows: Review + Photos appeared first on Music Enthusiast Magazine . [read on]

Gig review: Sublime with Rome and Rebelution Cater Positive Vibes to Tampa: Review + Photos

September 10, 2015 // 0 Comments

William Clark/ Music Enthusiast Magazine Although the initial reaction to the band’s formation was surrounded by mixed responses, a full house of casual 90’s alternative rock listeners and dedicated reggae rock advocates found their way to Tampa’s Midflorida Credit Union Amphitheatre to pay witness to another notable summer tour: Sublime with Rome and Rebelution . The unification of bassist Eric Wilson, formerly of Sublime, and singer and guitarist Rome Ramirez has only been around since 2009, however the wealth of ska punk anthems from Wilson’s previous body of work transferred along with this partnership. This gave the collaboration enough weight to then build their own body of work, as indicated on the two Sublime with Rome studio albums, 2011’s ‘Yours Truly’ and 2015’s ‘Sirens.’ Before the crowd would dance in the aisles and sing along to “Doin’ Time,” the stage would be warmed up with a like-minded performance from Pepper . Since breaking out of the Hawaiian reggae rock scene in 1997, the band has similarly developed a sizable following. It wasn’t overtly surprising that fans in any direction could be found donning Pepper apparel and jamming along to the tight grooves of “No Control” and “Hunny Girl.” Rebelution were able to have an even stronger control over the crowd, perhaps due to their unique array of stage props and performers. Rounding out the salt chuck rhythms were artificial rock structures and even a pair of painters who were depicting a tropical environment onto a canvas. Alongside engaging brass melodies and quaint complimentary guitar, lead vocalist Eric Rachmany offered up the melodic vocals to “Bright Side of Life” and the relaxed “Sky Is the Limit.” Sublime with Rome employed a luminous backdrop proudly featuring the cover artwork to this year’s ‘Sirens’ release, along with a shadowy lighting arrangement which particularly complimented Rome Ramirez at the main microphone and guitar. Along with the obligatory “Paddle Out” and “Pawn Shop,” Sublime with Rome would explore different territory through covers of Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin , The Toyes and Fishbone, which all retained that distinctive Sublime feel. The crowd responded favorable to the introduction of “Badfish/ Let’s Go Get Stoned,” which inconsequentially was met with a cloud of smoke from within the standing room audience in front of the stage. When it came down to the encore, Sublime with Rome started off gradually with “House Party” from ‘Sirens’ before kicking into full gear with top notch renditions of “What I Got” and the definitive “Santeria.” Whatever uncertainty within the Tampa crowd about this reincarnation of Sublime was promptly put to rest with Sublime with Rome’s spot-on performance, which brought new life to the catalog of fan favorites in addition to memorable cover songs and decent new compositions. Sublime with Rome Setlist 8/14/15 Tampa, FL Midflorida Credit Union Ampitheatre Date Rape Smoke Two Joints (The Toyes cover) Don’t Push/ Garden Grove/ Right Back/ New Thrash Wrong Way Paddle Out Scarley Begonias (Grateful Dead cover) 40oz. to Freedom Sirens Shankin’ To The Beat (Fishbone cover) We’re Only Gonna Die (Bad Religion cover) Doin’ Time Pawn Shop April 29, 1992 Panic Badfish/ Let’s Go Get Stoned What Is and What Should Never Be (Led Zeppelin cover) House Party What I Got Santeria Gallery Pepper William Clark/ Music Enthusiast Magazine William Clark/ Music Enthusiast Magazine William Clark/ Music Enthusiast Magazine William Clark/ Music Enthusiast Magazine William Clark/ Music Enthusiast Magazine Rebelution William Clark/ Music Enthusiast Magazine William Clark/ Music Enthusiast Magazine William Clark/ Music Enthusiast Magazine William Clark/ Music Enthusiast Magazine William Clark/ Music Enthusiast Magazine Sublime with Rome William Clark/ Music Enthusiast Magazine William Clark/ Music Enthusiast Magazine William Clark/ Music Enthusiast Magazine William Clark/ Music Enthusiast Magazine William Clark/ Music Enthusiast Magazine The post Sublime with Rome and Rebelution Cater Positive Vibes to Tampa: Review + Photos appeared first on Music Enthusiast Magazine . [read on]