First of all, big shout out to Nancy Sayle for taking care of the MAentGlobal crew on the list. and Jon Freeman for the promos leading up to this evening. While the 'press' part of the evening fell to the wayside, the show overall was a complete success.
What some might expect from an evening of bands from this era was not what we received. This was not a dated night of undersang, under-performed, and bad notes. Instead, the bands tonight sounded fresh, current, and relevant. Kicking the evening off was RIVERDOGS who just released a new album, CALIFORNIA. Obviously our Irish friend and Cancer Survivor VIVIAN CAMPBELL (DIO, WHITESNAKE, DEF LEPPARD) is the name in this band, but it's the sum of all its parts that drive the sound. While the masses may not be aware, those in attendance at the FRONTIERS HOLIDAY BACK 2017 knew what we were going to get. SONGS! This band is all about the song and it was a full set as the opening act.
Next on the bill was GREAT WHITE. Yes, I say GREAT WHITE even though it's technically, JACK RUSSELL'S GREAT WHITE because he is the voice and most identifiable piece of this puzzle. Hearing hits like LADY RED LIGHT, SAVE YOUR LOVE, ROCK ME, and the cover of ONCE BITTEN TWICE SHY and hearing how strong Jack's voice is these days is a testament to the staying power of a real singer.
Although JANI LANE (RIP) wrote all of the songs, WARRANT with new(ish) frontman ROBERT MASON (LYNCH MOB, OZZY) showed that their songs are still memorable as well. While playing 2 songs from their latest release on FRONTIERS, LOUDER, HARDER, FASTER (no, no innuendo there, insert sarcasm here), they opened with SURE FEELS GOOD and played much of the obvious including UNCLE TOM'S CABIN, DOWN BOYS, BIG TALK, HEAVEN and they closed with a big slice of CHERRY PIE with the help of JACK RUSSELL and JEFF PILSON. I was lucky enough to run into drummer STEVEN SWEET and singed ROBERT MASON in the airport the next day and have a nice 10-minute conversation with each and praise them as genuine and thankful individuals.
Although it was getting late (after midnight), LA GUNS stormed the stage with THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT (great choice) and played a couple more from their latest, THE MISSING PEACE! This band is tight, has fun, and it's evident they're all on the same page. TRACII GUNS has always been one of my favorite guitar players and he's way under-rated. I'll never forget the time he came to our place in the valley after the release of AMERICAN HARDCORE (we had just interviewed them and recorded their show at The Key Club) and he wanted a copy of the recordings. Such a good guy and I am proud to see LA GUNS still moving along these days and putting out their best album since COCKED AND LOADED.
FRONTIERS - you're doing this right and special Thanks to Mario and Elio for talking with us and doing what they do!
Aside from the great sets of live music, we were also able to have a quick conversation with Chip Z'nuff...
...and Jeff Pilson
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