“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5 This is the bible verse from which Stryper takes it name. And Stryper brought their healing power in the form of awesome rock n’ roll to the BMI Karts Indoor Speedway in Versailles, Ohio last Saturday (9/28/13).
It was far too long since I have seen Stryper perform live, and I was quite to excited to see the band perform once again. The last time I saw Stryper was at the 2012 M3 Rock Festival. They were excellent then, and even better this time around.
Aside from some minor struggles with the band’s monitors, Stryper forged on and never sounded better. Stryper’s set was a heavy one. Their set list included the songs “To Hell With The Devil”, “Soliders Under Command”, “The Rock That Makes Me Roll”, “Calling On You”, “The Way”, “Free”, “Loud N’ Clear”, “Heaven & Hell” & “Shout It Out Loud”. I was a little disappointed that they didn’t do “In God We Trust”, or “Honestly”, and I was really hoping to hear some songs off of their up and coming CD, No More Hell To Pay.
It was a short intimate set from Stryper, in a very unique and cool venue. I was quite glad that a made the trip to see the band play, and hope they return for another show after the new album has been released.
DV8, John Waite, and Night Ranger rocked the University of Cincinnati Medical Center Stadium in Florence, KY Saturday Night. Cincinnati’s favorite rockers DV8 opened the show on the main concourse stage, and provide an excellent set of classic tunes including Aerosmith, Boston, Shooting Star, Styx, and more recent songs from Kid Rock, Evanescence, Shinedown & many more. DV8 did a great job warming up the growing crowd at UCMC Stadium.
John Waite took the stage around 7:30 P.M. and dished out a great set of songs from his outstanding career with The Baby’s, Bad English and more.It was great to hear so many of Waite’s songs that I never got to hear live. John Waite’s voice is in fine shape. His voice hasn’t changed at all over the years. The great surprise of the night was seeing Keri Kelli (Alice Cooper, Pretty Boy Floyd) playing guitar for Waite’s band. Kelli got a chance to shine with a killer guitar solo, and really added a heavy & rocking flair to John Waite’s songs. John Waite’s set list included the songs, “Change”, “Missing You”, “Back On My Feet Again”, and “Best of What I Got”. John’s encore feature an A cappella version of “When I See You Smile”, and a rocking cover of “Whole Lotta Love”.
Over the last couple of years, the one band that has become a must see act for me is Night Ranger. Each and every time I see Night Ranger live, the band delivers an energetic set of outstanding tunes. Saturday night was no different. From the first moment Night Ranger took the stage, they owned the night. Brad Gillis, Joel Hoekstra and Jack Blades impressed me with their guitar acrobatics. Gillis and Hoekstra were absolutely killing it Saturday Night. They might just be one of the best guitar tandems in rock and roll today.
Of course I can’t talk about Night Ranger, without mentioning Jack Blades & Kelly Keagy. Both Jack & Kelly are such tremendous vocal talents. It is rare that a band has not one, but two exceptional singers. Night Ranger plays up to those strengths in all of their songs.
Night Ranger’s set included the songs “Lay It On Me”, “Sing Me Away”, “Four In The Morning”, “Coming of Age” (Damn Yankees), “Crazy Train” (Ozzy Osbourne), “Growing Up In California”, “Rumours In The Air”, “Secret of My Success”, “Sentimental Street”, an extremely rocking version of “Eddie’s Comin’ Out Tonight”, “High Enough” (Damn Yankees), “Boys of Summer” (Don Henley), “When You Close Your Eyes”, “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me” and an encore of “Sister Christian” and “(You Can Still) Rock In America”.
Night Ranger’s show was an absolute blast, and my only disappointment is I will have to wait several months to see them play again. Don’t miss Night Ranger if they come to your town. You can check out Night Ranger’s 2013 tour dates here!
End of Summer. Just the thought of it makes me sad, and that is what labor day weekend represents for me. Cincinnati’s last big rock summer rock show of 2013 took place last Wednesday night. Kid Rock brought his “Best Night Ever” to the Riverbend Music Center.
I don’t know if it was the best night ever, but it was certainly one of the hottest. This was easily the hottest concert I have ever attended. The crazy heat didn’t keep the rock fans away. Riverbend was sold out with over 18,000 in attendance.
Uncle Kracker, ZZ Top, and Kid Rock all put on outstanding sets. This was my first time to experience all three bands, and I enjoyed all of them.
ZZ Top has been performing for over 40 years, and I am still scratching my head why it took until 2013 for me to see them live. Billy Gibbons, Frank Beard & Dusty Hill are all in their sixties, but they can rock with the best of them.
Kid Rock by far surprised the most. His command of the stage is second to none, and his show was a lot of fun. I would go back to a Kid Rock show in a heartbeat.
If you live in the U.S., you still have a chance to catch Kid Rock live. There are a handful of dates left in the U.S. Visit Kid Rock’s site for details.
Check out our photo gallery below!
The 2013 Rock Allegiance Tour is in full swing with the bands Airbourne, All That Remains, HIM and Volbeat. While this may seem like a somewhat odd combination of bands, all four bands most definitely rock, and rock hard.
Airbourne is the opening band for this tour, and if you want to see them, you gotta be at the venue on time. They started at 7:00 P.M. sharp in Cincinnati, Ohio, and put on one hell of a show. There may have only been six songs in Airbourne’s set, but they definitely raised the bar high for the other bands that followed them.
The band opened up with “Ready to Rock”, and Joel O’Keefe took his guitar solo in this song out into the crowd via a piggy back ride from one of his roadies. This certainly got the crowd fired up, and deservedly so.
Airbourne always delivers a tremendous, hair-flying, fun rock and roll show that should not be missed.
Check out our photo gallery below!
Tom Keifer came to the 20th Century Theater last Wednesday night. It was the second to last night of Tom’s solo tour, and quite frankly I didn’t know what to expect. It has been a few years since I have seen Tom perform with Cinderella. It was 2010 at the M3 Rock Festival to be exact. That was a killer show then, and as many times as I have seen Cinderella perform, the band, and more importantly Tom Keifer has never disappointed me.
I still remember the first time I saw the band play back in ’87, and won’t ever forget it. I remember the long line that I waited in for tickets at the now defunct Ticketron for the Cinderella/ Bon Jovi show. The line extended halfway around the mall. The fans in line were quickly disappointed when it was announced that the show sold out, but a second show was quickly announced. In my eyes, and ears, Cinderella blew Bon Jovi off the stage, and I fell in love with the band from that day forward.
Night Songs may have gotten Cinderella in the door for me, but it was Tom Keifer’s song writing and blusier material on Cinderella’s later albums that had me coming back for more and more.
Last Wednesday night’s show was a pleasant surprise. Keifer’s set was a good mix of Cinderella songs, and Tom Keifer’s solo material from his up and coming album The Way Life Goes (due out April 30th). Tom’s history with his vocal surgeries is well documented. Well believe me when I say, Tom Keifer has never looked or sounded better than he did last Wednesday night. His voice is in fine form, and he can still pull off all of those trademark screams that he is known for in Cinderella.
As far as the new music? Tom’s solo material is a little more bluesy than Cinderella’s style of hard rock, but it awesome nonetheless. My current favorite from the new set was “Ask Me Yesterday”, but I truly loved all of the new songs. It almost seems unfair that we have to wait until April to purchase his new CD.
Tom’s solo band has quite a few music vets including Paul Taylor from Winger (keyboards, and Paul Simmons (Petra, Reverend Horton Heat, Black Oak Arkansas), and rounded out by Tony Higbee (guitar) and Billy Mercer (bass). I thought it was a very nice touch for Tom to bring out his wife Savannah Snow to help sing some of the songs that she co-wrote on the new album. It was also cool to see Paul Taylor again. I haven’t seen him play since the 90′s (with Winger).
I loved the storyteller aspect of the show, where Tom talked about the song writing of several of his classic and soon to be released tunes. I also enjoyed the nice twist that Mr. Keifer company put on Cinderella’s trademark hit “Shake Me”, as well as the other songs performed this night.
As a whole, it was a tremendous night of rock and roll. I am quite glad that I got to see Tom perform again. I hope Tom Keifer will schedule more dates in the spring and summer to support his new album. The new songs are outstanding and need to be experienced in a live setting.
Don’t forget to pick up The Way Life Goes when it is released April 30th!
The Set List for the show was:
Sick for the Cure
Ain’t That A Bitch
A Different Light
Ask Me Yesterday
The Flower Song
One For Rock and Roll
Cold Day In Hell
Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)
Little Help From My Friends
I don’t think we have talked any where near enough about the band Halestorm at Hard Rock Hideout in 2012, and that has got to change starting now. My first introduction to Halestorm was when, I saw the band play live back in February 2009, when they opened up for Black Stone Cherry and Seether. I was impressed with the band back then, and their live performance has only gotten better since then. I have been wanting to see them live again for a couple of years, and for whatever reason, I kept missing them. In 2012, I have been luck enough to see them three times, including twice this past weekend.
Halestorm closed out their summer U.S. tour with New Medicine and Cavo. Their final two dates were in Cincinnati, Ohio and Lexington, KY. Both shows were well attended, and the Cincinnati show at
Bogart’s was pretty close to being sold out.
New Medicine and Cavo did a solid job opening up both shows, but it was Halestorm that owned the stage. There is a crazy amount of talent in the band, with singer Lzzy Hale, and her brother Arejay on drums, Joe Hottinger on guitar and Josh Smith on bass. Lzzy’s vocals are more powerful now than ever. From her silky smooth vocals to her raging metal like screams, Lzzy Hale is a singer that can simply do it all. She had me mesmerized with the band’s opening number “Love Bites”, and blew me away with their cover of Skid Row’s “Slave To The Grind”. I don’t even thing Sebastian Bach can scream like that anymore.
Arejay Hale has reinvented the drum solo. It has been a long time since I have seen any band do a drum solo. This was such a common thing in the 80′s, and it has seemingly gone by the way side in rock and roll as of late. Mr. Hale is a wildman on the drums. He can hardly be contained by his drum kit. Not only is his drum solo excellent, he also plays bare handed much like former Whitesnake drummer, Tommy Aldridge.
I was blown away by his playing.
Halestorm’s set was exactly the same for the Cincinnati, and Lexington shows, but it didn’t matter. The music both nights was fantastic. It was a great weekend of rock and roll, and I am glad I was able to catch Halestorm, before they left for their UK Headlining Tour. I only wish they could have played longer!
Halestorm’s Set List was: “Love Bites”, “Mz. Hyde”, “It’s Not You”, “Familiar Taste of Poison”, “Rock Show”, “American Boys”, “Don’t Know How To Stop”, “Break In”, “Private Parts”, Arejay’s drum solo, “Slave To the Grind”, “You Call Me Bitch Like It’s A Bad Thing”, “I Miss The Misery”, “I Get Off” and “Here’s To Us”.
Check out our photo gallery from the Cincinnati show below!
Charm City Devils and Theory of A Deadman closed out the July concert season at Bogart’s in Cincinnati, Ohio on July 29th.
I have loved the band Charm City Devils since I first heard their song “Let’s Rock N Roll” under their old moniker Chosen Son on the Cruefest Compilation CD. The band doesn’t come to Cincinnati often. I believe the 2009 Cruefest was the last time they were here. Needless to say, when they come to town, I make a point to go.
The last couple of times I have seen Charm City Devils perform, I thought they were great, but on this particular night in Cincinnati, Ohio, they were the best I had ever seen them. Singer John Allen did an amazing job controlling the crowd. The band turned in a blistering set of tunes that included their songs “Burn Baby Burn”, “Spite”, “Start It Up”, “Love N’ War”, “Devil Is A Woman”, “Best of the Worst”, “True Love”, “I Got Mine (The Black Keys Cover)”, “Unstoppable”, “Man of Constant Sorrow” and “Let’s Rock N Roll”. If you get a chance to see them live, you should definitely go. You will not be disappointed. You can grab their newly released CD, Sins at Amazon.com.
I have to admit that I have been pretty tough on Theory of a Deadman in the past. Their live shows in the past have been somewhat of a let down to me. This was not the case at their Cincinnati show at all. The band made me eat crow, and I am ok with that. The band brought their “A” game to Cincinnati.
Tyler Connolly was interacting with the packed house at Bogart’s all night. The band was tight and sounded great. They did part of their set acoustically, while sitting on bar stools on the stage. It brought the old MTV Unplugged show to mind. I thought it was a very cool part of their show, and was a nice surprise. Theory of a Deadman performed their songs “Got It Made”, “So Happy”, “All or Nothing”, “Bitch Came Back”, “Gentleman”, “Nothing Could Come Between Us”, “Not Meant To Be”, “Truth Is”, “Out of My Head”, “Easy To Love You”, “Better Off” and “Low Life”. I am glad that I got to see Theory of a Deadman again, and won’t hesitate to do so in the future.
It was a fun night of rock and roll in Cincinnati. I will be looking forward to seeing Charm City Devils and Theory of A Deadman again in the future!
The Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival came to the Riverbend Music Center in July. This tour is easily the biggest Metal festival of 2012, and the lineup this year is pretty incredible. You have two of the Big Four thrash bands, Anthrax and Slayer, as well as Motorhead, Slipknot, As I Lay Dying, Asking Alexandra, The Devil Wears Prada, Whitechapel & more. Work commitments kept me from making it to the venue for the 2 P.M. start time, but I did manage to make in for the start of Anthrax’s blistering set.
This was the second time I have seen Anthrax in 2012, and much like the first time, the bodies started flying as soon as the music began. The security guys in the pit were having a time keeping up with all of the crowd surfers. Anthrax was incredible as always, but as good as they were, they weren’t the best band of the evening. I watched the conclusion of Anthrax’s set, and made my way to the main stage for As I Lay Dying.
This was a night of many firsts for me. I haven’t ever seen As I Lay Dying, Slayer or Motorhead, so I was excited to see these bands play for the first time. I have to admit, I am not much of a metalcore fan, but As I Lay Dying was very good at what they do. They hair was flying, and lead singer Tim Lambesis never stayed in place for a minute. My neck hurt just watching him perform. Lots of headbanging and hair flying fun!
Next up was the mighty Motorhead. I can’t believe that I haven’t seen the band play before now, but Lemmy Kilmister and company were excellent. Lemmy is still getting it done at the nice young age of 66. Of course, Motorhead closed out their set with the one and only “Ace of Spades” and it was as awesome as I expected it to be.
To my ears, the best band of the evening without question was Slayer. I readily admit that I haven’t been a big Slayer fan, but they blew me away. The band was on fire all night (as was their stage, with tons of pyro.) Kerry King might just be the most metal looking musician ever! I enjoyed watching him play.
I wasn’t able to photograph Slipknot, so I grabbed my seat for their set. I saw the band in the inaugural Mayhem festival back in 2008, so I already knew that they put on an in incredible show. They didn’t disappoint. Their is always something going on the stage during a Slipknot show. From Clown’s hydraulic drum kit, to the masks, random crowd surfing, and pyro you never know where to look during their set. I can’t remember Slipknot coming to Cincinnati before, but I am pretty sure this was their first time here. Judging from the people who raised their hand when Corey Taylor asked if it was their first time seeing Slipknot, there were thousands of people who have not seen them play before. They got their money’s worth at the 2012 Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival. This is a great festival for fans of metal music. I can’t wait until the next one.
Adelitas Way, Papa Roach & Shinedown brought their tour to the PNC Pavillion last Tuesday night. This is a nice triple bill that was a pretty cool preview for the up and coming Rockstar Enegy Drink Uproar Festival which starts in August 17th – September 30th. Check below for the Hard Rock Hideout photo gallery from this show.
Alice Cooper and Iron Maiden came to the Klipsch Music Center in Nobelsville, Indiana on Thursday, July 19th. I thought I was going to miss Alice Cooper, as the show was to start at 7:30. The road going into the concert was backed up for two miles. I didn’t hit the parking lot until after 8 P.M. but a Severe Thunderstorm rolled through which prevented this concert from starting on time. I was extremely grateful for mother nature to play her part, as five minutes after I sat down, Alice Cooper took the stage.
This is third time I have seen Alice Cooper in three years, and his show hasn’t changed too much from the previous two times I have seen him, but it didn’t matter as the show Alice and his band put on was outstanding. Alice Cooper’s band consisted of Chuck Garric on bass, Orianthi,, Tommy Henriksen and Ryan Roxie on Guitar and Glen Sobel on drums. The band was excellent, and all of Alice’s normal theatrics (the guillotine, Frankenalice, etc.) were present in this show. I loved every minute of it. I was surprised that two of the songs in Alice’s set came from his 2000 album Brutal Planet, and none from Welcome 2 My Nightmare. I thought his set was way too short, but I would probably think this, if he played for two hours. Alice Cooper’s set list was: The Black Widow, Brutal Planet, I’m Eighteen, No More Mr. Nice Guy, Billion Dollar Babies, Feed My Frankenstein, Poison, Wicked Young Man, Killer, I Love the Dead, and School’s Out.
After a lengthy intermission due to an elaborate stage set up, Iron Maiden took the stage after 9:00 P.M. The digital screens on both sides of the stage showed visions of an Arctic Voyage through several glaciers and icebergs. When the stage was revealed, it looked like the ice age hit Iron Maiden’s stage. It was a very cool look with lots of fog, and blue lights to give it that chilly appearance. Iron Maiden’s stage may have been a little frosty, but their performance was anything but that. Every time I have seen Iron Maiden live, they have absolutely killed it, and this night was no exception. The mighty Bruce Dickinson still has every bit of the powerhouse voice that got him the Maiden gig back in 1981. He was running all over the multi-level stage all night, and absolutely rocking the crowd. I especially loved it, when he called out a guy on the left side of the stage who spent three of the songs texting on her cell phone. He called him a “Wanker!”
Janick Gers might be 55 years old, but he could give a clinic to most guitar players out there. His guitar acrobatics were a lot of fun to watch. The whole band was on fire, and was constantly in motion all night. There was plenty of pyro, different backdrops and stage theatrics, and of course a 20 foot tall Eddie, and a huge Eddie that came out of the stage.
Iron Maiden’s set list consisted of the songs Moonchild, Can I Play With Madness, The Prisoner, 2 Minutes to Midnight, Afraid to Shoot Strangers, The Trooper, The Number of the Beast, Phantom of the Opera, Run to the Hills, Wasted Years, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, The Clairvoyant, Fear of the Dark, Iron Maiden, Aces High, The Evil That Men Do and Running Free.
This was easily the best concert I have seen in 2012, and can’t wait to see Iron Maiden again. I was only armed with a point and shoot camera for this show, but I did get a few decent shots. If you get the chance to catch the Maiden England tour do so, you won’t be disappointed.
Bobaflex is a band that I thought was one of the better surprises at Rock on the Range. I have the band’s album Tales From Dirt Town, so I knew some of their songs, but I have not seen them live prior to Rock on the Range. Much to my surprise, most of the songs in their set came from their latest album, Hell In My Heart. I haven’t picked up the CD before Rock on the Range, but it didn’t matter. Bobaflex’s set kicked ass. The McCoy brothers know how to rock a crowd, and there was a ton of people in attendance for the headlining show on the Jaegermeister stage at Rock on the Range. I have to admit, that Bobaflex fell off my radar for quite some time, but after seeing them live, they are a band that I will be paying attention to. I loved their set, and especially loved their cover of the Simon and Garfunkel classic “Sound of Silence”. If you haven’t checked out Bobaflex before, check out their videos below. I think you will like them!
Bobaflex set list at Rock on the Range included the songs: “Chemical Valley”, “Home”, “Vampire”, “Sound of Silence”, “Low Life”,” Bury Me With Guns On”, “Rise”, “Dangerous”, and “Slave”
Before In This Moment took the stage at Rock on the Range, I had no idea what to expect. I have never seen the band perform live. I knew a lot of their music, and thought they would be one of the heaviest bands on the two day bill at ROTR. The band has played several festivals including Ozzfest and Mayhem, but this is the first time they performed at Rock on the Range.
When the band came out, I didn’t know whether to be terrified or extremely entertained. Once the beautiful Maria Brink and her ghastly band mates took the stage, I knew without question, it would be the latter. With the exception of Maria Brink, all of the members of In This Moment had their faces painted in a dark charcoal color, and masks over the lower part of their faces. In This Moment has a couple of newer members with Tom Hane on drums and Randy Weitzel on rhythm guitar, but face paint aside, you would have never known it.
Maria’s powerful vocals was the driving force behind the tight set the band played at ROTR. In This Moment played a few songs from their up and coming CD Blood. Based on the new songs I heard, In this Moment is going to have a very big year in the hard rock and metal world. Their set was definitely one of the highlights at the 2012 Rock on the Range.
You can check out the title track “Blood” below. Please check out our In This Moment gallery from Rock on the Range as well.
Bang Tango’s set at M3 was a short one. They only played six songs, but for having an early time slot, I thought the band did a pretty good job. I thought Bang Tango would play more of their classic material, but they actually played two new songs off of their latest CD, Pistol Whipped In the Bible Belt, “Suck It Up, and “Bring On the World”. Their new album is much better than expected, and definitely worth checking out. (You can read the Hard Rock Hideout Review here!) I am sure that Bang Tango’s set was shortened due to the late start time of the bands on Saturday, but they made the best of it. I enjoyed their set, I just wish it was longer.
Bang Tango’s set list was “Suck It Up”, “Ready To Go”, “Attack of Life”, “Bring On the World”, “Soul to Soul”, and my favorite “Someone Like You”.
You can check out our Photo Gallery below!
L.A Guns wasn’t supposed to play at the M3 Rock Festival in 2012. When Cinderella cancelled, L.A. Guns (and Great White) were added to the bill. L.A. Guns quickly proved that they deserved to be there with a rockin’ set of L.A. Guns classics and their brand new song, “You Better Not Love Me”. I like this song the first time I heard it, and I am glad it has been released for all to hear in a video format.
“You Better Not Love Me” is on L.A. Guns new album, Hollywood Forever, which is due out June 5th, 2012. Check out the video below! You can pre-order Hollywood Forever here! Check out the video, and our L.A. Guns M3 Photo Gallery below!
We have been fans of classic rock music at Hard Rock Hideout for what seems like forever. The last few years have been a very exciting time in rock and roll with the influx of revival rock bands hitting the scene. One of the bands that have been a big part of the rock and roll revival, is Los Angeles, California’s Rival Sons.
I have been a fan of Rival Sons since I first listened to their CD, Pressure & Time. Needless to say, I was looking very forward to getting to see Rival Sons play live for the very first time. Rock at the Range gave me that opportunity, and the band did not disappoint. Scott Holiday’s wicked slide guitar, and Jay Buchanan’s powerful vocals rocked the huge crowd at the Jagermeister Stage at Rock on The Range. If you missed Rival Sons performance, you truly missed out on a great up and coming band that you are going to be hearing a lot more about in the years to come.
If you haven’t check out their CD, Pressure & Time, check out the video clips below, and grab a copy of the CD at this link. You will be glad you did! The band recently finished recording their new album which will be released later this year. More details about the new album coming soon!
One of the cool bands that I was able to photo at Rock at the Range is Minneapolis, Minnesota’s New Medicine. If you haven’t checked this band out yet, you ought to give their CD, Race You To the Bottom a listen. It is a pretty cool blend of rock and pop, and has quite a few tunes worth checking out. You can check out all of the videos released for Race You to the Bottom below. Our photo gallery and slideshow from Rock On the Range is below as well.
What can I say about Kix that hasn’t already been said? They are the only band that has played each and every year at M3, and I can’t imagine this festival without them. They proved once again why they deserve the headlining slot at M3 on Friday night, by turning in another energetic set of kick ass rock and roll. Kix blasted out the tunes “Hot Wire”, “Heartache”, “The Itch”, “Same Jane”, “Cold Shower”, “Girl Money”, “Don’t Close Your Eyes”, “No Ring Around Rosie”, “Lie Like a Rug”, “Midnite Dynamite”, “Cold Blood” “Blow My Fuse” and an encore with the crowd favorite “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah”. I am pretty sure 80% of the folks in attendance were singing along. (It sounded that way anyway.)
Overall, I thought the Kix off party was a big success for M3. This show seemed to have a lot more people in attendance than the Kix off party (Friday Night) in 2011. I hope M3 will bring Kix back again in 2013. My only disappointment was, I thought Kix’s set could have been a little longer. I was hoping they would at least play a couple of extra songs on their encore, but they only played one. I missed hearing “Red Light, Green Lite, TNT”, and “Sex”, but their set was still great, and I am extremely glad I got to see Kix again. They were easily one of the best bands of the M3 Rock Festival in 2012.
To my ears, and eyes, Night Ranger was the greatest surprise out of all of the bands at the M3 Rock Festival. From the opening moments of Night Ranger’s set where Jack Blades, Brad Gillis and Joel Hoekstra stood ready for attack over the the band’s stack of EVH Amps, I knew that this was going to be a rockin’ show. I had no idea that Night Ranger would be this good! I don’t know if being televised on HDNET had anything to do with it or not, but Night Ranger definitely brought their “A” game to the M3 Rock Festival.
Night Ranger’s set was awesome, and to me, they were easily one of the best bands on either day of the M3 Rock Festival. By the time Night Ranger finished their set which included the songs “Lay It On Me”, “Sing Me Away”, “Rumors in the Air”, Growin’ Up in California”, “Secret of My Success”, “Touch of Madness”, “Sentimental Street”, “Eddie’s Coming Out Tonight”, “High Enough”(Damn Yankees), “Four in the Morning”, “When You Close Your Eyes”, “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me”, and after a brief intermission, an encore with the songs “Sister Christian” and “(You Can Still) Rock in America”. I haven’t listened to Midnight Madness for a while, so getting to hear “Touch of Madness” live was a real treat!
Brad Gillis was an absolute monster on guitar. He is a tremendously under rated player that deserves more respect. I love how Kelly Keagy came off of the drum kit to sing a couple of songs. Jack Blades is a fantastic front man with great energy, and a voice that is absolutely perfect! Kelly Keagy still sounds great too. Joel Hoekstra is a lot of fun to watch. He looked like he was having a great time!
At the end of the set, I found myself upset and embarrassed that I had never seen Night Ranger live before. After their M3 performance, I will gladly drive out of my way to see Night Ranger play. I hope they get a chance to return to M3. They easily could have been the headliner Friday night. They put on an excellent show, and I won’t ever forget it!
Thin Lizzy, Black Label Society & Judas Priest invaded Cincinnati’s U.S. Bank Arena on November 8th. Check out our Photo Gallery, & mini review below.
Thin Lizzy which is now fronted by The Almighty’s Ricky Warwick, sounded amazing. Warwick’s vocals are very similar to the late Phillip Lynott, and he does an excellent job. Damon Johnson (Brother Cane, Alice Cooper Band) is the bands newest guitarist replacing Vivian Campbell, and Richard Fortus. He seems to fit in quite well. I have never seen Thin Lizzy before, and was amazed at how good they sounded. I was thrilled to see this classic band in action. They lineup has changed several times over the years, but Thin Lizzy still rocks.
Black Label Society put on one of the loudest shows in recent memory. I am pretty sure the folks eating wings at Hooters in Newport, KY (that is down the river from U.S. Bank Arena) could hear Zakk Wylde & company. Black Label Society’s sound guy must have had all of their amps set at maximum volume. The only problem with this was, Zakk’s vocals were inaudible. I know all of Black Label Society’s music, and I could watch Zakk Wylde & company play all night. Wylde is a killer guitarist, and as much as I love his playing, I like his vocals even more. I was disappointed that I couldn’t hear them. Aside from that, Black Label Society sounded great.
Judas Priest took the stage and proceeded to play for over two hours. They covered songs from just about every facet of their career. The Metal God, Rob Halford is still getting it done in 2011. The 60 year old front man, may not be able to hit all of the notes he used to, but he still sounds great. Ritchie Faulkner who has replaced the retired KK Downing on lead guitar, not only looks the part,but does an amazing job. KK Downing will always be missed, but Faulkner has injected new life into Judas Priest. The Judas Priest set included the following songs: “Rapid Fire”, “Metal Gods”, “Heading Out to the Highway”, “Judas Rising”,”Starbreaker”, “Victim of Changes”, “Never Satisfied”, “Diamonds & Rust”, “Dawn Of Creation”, “Prophecy”, “Night Crawler”, “Turbo Lover”, “Beyond the Realms of Death”, “The Sentinel”, “Blood Red Skies”, “The Green Manalishi (With the Two Pronged Crown)”, “Breaking the Law”, “Painkiller”, “The Hellion”, “Electric Eye”, “Hell Bent for Leather”, “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’” and “Living After Midnight”.
This is Judas Priest’s Epitaph tour, meaning the band will not longer do world tours from here on out. There was only four – five thousand in attendance at the Cincinnati show, which I though was extremely disappointing. This may be the last time we get to see Judas Priest perform in our area. Judas Priest put on an excellent that was a feast for the ears & the eyes. The show filled with pyro, lasers, and more importantly some legendary metal tunes played to perfection.
There are only a few tour dates left on the Epitaph tour. If you live in one of the areas below, you should definitely get a ticket for this show.
30 November 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre, Tampa
1 December Klipsch Amphitheatre at Bayfront Park, Miami, FL
3 December Hard Rock Biloxi Hotel & Casino, Biloxi
Check out our Photo Gallery below. You can right click on an image to view it larger.
Check out our Photo Gallery from the Firehouse Live Performance at the M3 Rock Festival on May 14th, 2011!