Wednesday, March 19, 2014

One way to ROCK!

Yep...I used to keep the long hair.
If you have been following me on the various social media outlets, then you gotta know I love my rock. I am a big fan of the 80s Hairmetal scene--groups like Ratt, Poison, Motley Crue and the like. Some of my all time faves are (of course) KISS, Van Halen, and Aerosmith. I list them separately because they are not really "Hairmetal", but instead, just good old Rock 'n Roll.

Calling Dr. Love...

Lately, I have found a thriving local scene of tribute bands. What is a "tribute band"? That is a good question. You see, I have played in cover bands. Those do the music of various artists (and I covered most of the ones listed above). A tribute band goes that extra step to give you the look and feel of a single band.

David Lee Roth and Michael Anthony?
One of the best on Portland is a band called Unchained. They cover Van Halen...and to say cover does not do them justice. They have the look and the sound down pat. You would swear that is Eddie Van Halen flashing that smile as he tears through all those songs that you know and love; David Lee Roth jumping and wailing; Alex behind the kit; and Michael Anthony on the thundering bass. Pretty damn close.

Dokken...Ratt...Warrant? It's all there!
I saw Maiden NorthWest recently. They brought up a few guest vocalists and one very special fan who got to live his dream to play guitar on the band's rendition of Flight of the Icarus. ANd what made it better was how the band swept him into the performance and made him one of them. That is a memory that young man will never forget.

A night to remember.
And most often they play in packs. Triple Bills at the Hawthorne Theater are not uncommon.

And some of these guys even remember you from last time. I have seen Poison'us a couple of times now, and the guys are very friendly.

And many of these guys pull duty with multiple bands. So you may see familiar faces when you catch the next gig. And the guys are always happy to tell you where they will be playing next and with which group. These bands are all of the talent, playing all your favorites, and at a fraction of the price. Not only that...but when they say "We love you people!" they often prove it after...

Me and Nikki Sixx from Motley Crue?
 (or even before) the show as they come out to the crowd...

Spot the Ace Frehley fan!
...and sometimes they bring friends...

Unchained...Unchained Girls...and a fan for life!
The last show I was at, Motorbreath (The World's Greatest Metallica tribute band) packed the stage with fans from the crowd to wrap things up with a blistering version of Seek and Destroy. That night I saw Foo Fighter, Alice in Chains, and Metallica. Sure, there were different people playing the music (hasn't KISS been doing that for the last several years?), but the sound and the energy was off the charts.

And if you are wondering if they can pull off some of the more complicated sounds...then check out the band I saw last week. This is Jar of Lies, covering Alice in Chains. 

So if you love some good rock, but don't want to dole out big bucks for an often generic and uninspired concert put on by people who don't know you and don't care who comes as long as they get paid, then check your local some searching on Google. Once you find where they play, you will be hooked. I know I am.

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