Guitarmaggedon came to the Alrosa Villa Saturday Night. It isn’t very often when you get the chance to see two bands in the same night that have guitarists the caliber of George Lynch, Billy Sheehan and Paul Gilbert. I have been fortunate enough to see both bands earlier this year, but it is this Mr. Big show I will remember best.
A couple of local bands Karma 10, and Dirty Side Down opened this show, and I have to give Kudos to both of those bands. Karma 10 played some originals as well as covers. This was the first show for Karma 10’s new guitarist Richie Baier. Baier was pretty damn good, and showed a lot of chemistry with the band for being his first show.
Dirty Side Down was up next, and they did a stellar job at getting the crowd revved up for Lynch Mob and Mr. Big. Singer Dan Compton looked like a cross between Disburbed’s David Draiman and Rob Halford from Judas Priest. He had a pretty impressive vocal range, and sang quite a few songs that most bands would dare touch, including Queensryche’s “Queen of the Reich”, Iron Maiden’s “Where Eagles Dare” and RATT’s “The Morning After”. I am usually not big on cover bands, but I would go see Dirty Side Down again in a heartbeat. They were really good.
The same can not be said for Lynch Mob unfortunately. It was an off night for Mr. Lynch and company. The last time I saw Lynch Mob back in January, the band had Oni Logan, and “Wild” Mick Brown drumming. It has been well reported that Oni Logan bailed on the tour at the last minute, and former Lynch Mob singer Chaz West rejoined the band on short notice. Chaz West was not the problem this evening. Chaz sounded pretty good for the most part. It seemed that George, and Lynch Mob’s new drummer, Ray? Brown (Mick’s brother) could not get in sync. George had to cut his infamous tune “Mr. Scary” short. He looked pretty frustrated. Before long, the band packed it up and called it a day. They played for 35 – 40 minutes tops. It seems like to me, the band needed to rehearse a couple of times with the new drummer before playing live. This appearance came across as amateurish at best. I was pretty disappointed with their performance overall. This is the only show, that Lynch Mob was playing with Mr. Big, and lucky for them, Mr. Big made EVERYONE forget about Lynch Mob’s set.
Earlier this year, before this tour was announced, Mr. Big made their only U.S. appearance at the M3 Rock Festival. To me, they were one of the best bands at M3, but they were far better at the Alrosa Villa Saturday night. You see, when Mr. Big plays at a big music festival, their set is condensed, and you don’t get a real Mr. Big show. Saturday night, Mr. Big played for over two hours, and played every Mr. Big tune you would want to hear, and a few you wouldn’t expect. They also played a few songs off of their new album What If…. including “American Beauty” and “Undertow” which sounded great live, and was met with a pretty good reception to the sold out crowd. Both Paul Gilbert and Billy Sheehan had their chances to shine in this show with cool solos. Paul Gilbert’s guitar solo was easily the best I have seen in 2011. I think he is the first guitarist I have seen to play the guitar with his mouth. He is one incredible musician. Billy’s bass solo was pretty awesome as well. Eric Martin never gets enough credit being stuck between Sheehan and Gilbert, but he was awesome last night. He interacted with the crowd quite a bit, and got a kick out of his on stage antics. His vocals were perfect Saturday Night.
The encore featured two killer Mr. Big tunes “To Be With You”, and “Colorado Bulldog”. The band also did an extremely cool version of Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water” where the band changed instruments. Paul Gilbert was playing the drums, Eric Martin lead guitar, Pat Torpey was playing bass, and Billy Sheehan was signing. Mid song, they changed it up again. Eric Martin took over on bass, Pat took over on vocals, and Billy Sheehan was playing lead guitar. I haven’t ever seen an entire band change instruments like this during a show. It was fun and extremely impressive to see. The show closed out with a killer version of the Talas tune “Shyboy”.
If you get a chance to see Mr. Big Live on this tour, you really ought to do so. They put on a whale of a performance, and was easily one of the best shows I have seen in 2011. You can check their tour dates at this link. Check out our photo gallery below!
Mr. Big Set List:
Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy (The Electric Drill Song)
Green-Tinted Sixties Mind
Alive and Kickin’
Just Take My Heart
Once Upon a Time
A Little Too Loose
Road to Ruin
Still Ain’t Enough
Take A Walk
Around the World
As Far as I Can See
Addicted To That Rush
To Be With You
Smoke on the Water