Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Cinderella, with Sebastian Bach (7-27-12)

Post # 212
Cinderella were one of those 'Hair Bands' that were really big for a short stretch of time, and it happened to be around the time I was getting into music for the first time. Long Cold Winter was their second full-length album, and featured several hit songs when I was just getting into rock and metal music. I saw the videos for 'The Last Mile', 'Coming Home', or 'Gypsy Road' on MTV almost every day. I collected their cassettes Night Songs and Long Cold Winter rather quickly. Suffice to say, Cinderella were a regular listening experience for me for a few years between 1989 and 1991.

After their 3rd album, Heartbreak Station came out, the band began to run into a few problems. There was the issue of the 'Hair/Glam' metal scene losing it's popularity, which affected many of the 'Hair Bands', but even more detrimental and serious was vocalist Tom Keifer's vocal paralysis. He lost his voice to such a degree it required several surgeries to repair. At this point I thought my chances to ever see him perform live with Cinderella might be gone forever. But Tom fought through it all, went through some therapy to learn how to sing again, and in recent years Cinderella have been touring again. This show was my first Cinderella concert. It's been a long time coming, and hopefully it will not be the last!

The first opener was Chicago's own Hessler. As chance would have it, I had seen them not long ago, also opening for Bach. This time I went along with a friend from Chicago. We were looking forward to a good show...

Unfortunately, Hessler were already in the middle of their set when we arrived, but the songs I heard were more familiar this time around. We got there just in time for them to play 'Shark Attack', already a favorite of mine. They incorporated synchronized  headbanging as part of their performance of this song, and Igz Kincaid rocks his shark-bodied guitar. Just like before, they were energetic on the stage. More than just playing their songs, they look to put on a good show. They closed their set with the Chicago-crowd pleasing 'Windy City Wild Child'.

After a few minutes, where we had a chance to chat with some friends from Deadmanswake whom we bumped into between sets. It was nice to catch up and discuss music for a bit, but then it was time to track down some drinks and get ready for Sebastian Bach...

He wasted no time getting straight to the metal as he opened with the thrasher 'Slave to the Grind'. The friend I brought along was also a big Skid Row fan, and we were enjoying this part of the show all the more. Overall, I found his set list to be very similar to when I saw him several months ago, but a bit shorter. Understandable, since this time he wasn't the headliner, but still, I would have liked at least one or two songs I hadn't heard before. Nonetheless, he put on a killer performance of the songs he did play. The only hitch was where he stopped the show to kick a guy out from the crowd (again, just like last time!) My other friends who were closer to the action said the guy was directing rude gestures toward Sebastian Bach, and he apparently was not going to take that.

The show went on, and he played all the classic Skid Row stuff ('18 and Life', 'I Remember You', 'Youth Gone Wild'), plus a few songs from his 2 recent releases Angel Down and Kicking and Screaming. Like I said, it was a great performance from Bach. His voice is every bit as good as it ever was. One of the best vocalists from the 'Hair Metal' era, bar none!

Then we mingled during the intermission while the stage was prepared for Cinderella...

When Cinderella took the stage it felt like years were rolled back. 20 years after the last time I bought one of their albums, and I was finally seeing them live! They opened up with an older, heavy song- 'Once Around the Ride'. After a couple songs form the Night Songs album, they mixed it up with a little blues, playing 'Heartbreak Station'. They played a bunch of songs from their first two albums for the majority of the show. Mainly, I was relieved to hear that Tom Keifer's voice was still there- almost as good as I remember from my CDs.

He proved he was a versatile musician as well, playing electric and acoustic guitars, piano, and even saxophone at different stages of the show. I really hope he can continue performing for many years to come. It was a nice bit of nostalgia, but if Cinderella get around to making new music again, I'll be first in line to hear it!

Here are the set lists from the various performers:

Setlist HESSLER:
-Waste Away
-Who Will You Run To
-Rising Sign
-Shark Attack
-Last Alive
-Windy City Wild Child

-Slave to the Grind
-Kickin' and Screamin'
-Dirty Power
-Here I Am
-Big Guns
-Stuck Inside
-Piece of Me
-18 and Life
-American Metalhead
-Monkey Business
-I Remember You
-Youth Gone Wild

-Once Around The Ride
-Shake Me
-Heartbreak Station
-Somebody Save Me
-Night Songs
-The More Things Change
-Comin' Home
-Second Wind
-Don't Know What You Got (Til It's Gone)
-Nobody's Fool
-Gypsy Road
-Long Cold Winter
-Shelter Me

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