Friday, June 21, 2002 @ 3:47 PM
Tesla, Vince Neil, Jackyl and
- advertisement -
REVIEW BY: Rachel Miller
The Rock Never Stops Tour landed in Indiana with a blast of rock n’ roll and except for a very poor set by Vince Neil, it proved to be a night of good music, PLENTY of alcohol and sing along favorites.
I'd wanna hear you say - I remember you…
I was very interested in seeing the Johnny Solinger version of Skid Row, and was quite surprised on how good Johnny sounds. He’s not Sebastian, nor will he ever be, but his vocal range is almost as good as Sebastian’s, and was able to rip through “Monkey Business,” “18 and Life,” “I Remember You,” and “Youth Gone Wild” with ease. He has a good stage presence and seems to really enjoy being on stage, even if its singing tunes made famous by another. The rest of Skids sounded pretty good and new song, “Thick is the Skin,” gave hint to what might end up being a promising album. Scotti Hill was full of energy, leaping off stage and running clear back to the lawn, Dave Sabo swigged a beer in between songs and hung back a bit on stage, and unfortunately Rachel Bolan looked a bit bored. All in all, they are worth getting to the venue early to see, especially if it’s been a while since you’ve heard Skids live.
Thank you for participating in Jackyl Awareness Day
It’s sometimes hard to look at Jackyl seriously. They made a fortune on the fact their lead singer played a freakin’ chainsaw in a song. But after seeing them, I must hand it to Jesse James Dupree. He IS a very good front man. He has great vocals, great energy and knows exactly how to get a crowd going. With a salute to Lynyrd Skynyrd and Ronnie Van Zant, the set is drenched in Southern rock ala redneck style. The crowd was encouraged to toast their beers many times, got a dose of sex talk during “Dirty Little Mind,” and was treated to the usual cutting up and burning of a wooden stool during “The Lumberjack.” If you can gloss over the Ted Nugent-esque comparisons (Jesse ended the set by shooting off a rifle), you’ll hear a good, tight bar-type band that is hell bent on bringing back hard music. They played the hits, “Down on Me” and “I Stand Alone” as well as a new track Jesse co wrote with AC/DC’s Brian Johnson, “Kill The Sunshine.” As you can imagine, the song is in the same 4/4 time that is every AC/DC song ever written is in, but AC/DC is still around selling out shows, so if it works, no need fixin’ it. The band sounded great and drummer, Chris Worley, got so worked up he ended up playing the set in his underwear. It proved to be a good ole’ boy 45 minute set worth toasting a cold one to.
Ever Get The Feeling you’ve Been Cheated?
Ok, well I’ve talked with some people at the same show that disagree with me, so you’ll have to check it out for yourself, but in my opinion, Vince Neil just needs to give it up. He comes out drinking a beer, which I found interesting, since so much air-time on Behind the Music: Motley Crue and so many pages in The Dirt were given to the beauty of being clean and sober.
First of all, it was quite apparent that Vince was using vocal equalizers during the set. During “Dr. Feelgood” and “Girls, Girls, Girls,” even with help, he was barely making it. He did what I consider to be the most annoying things that lazy rock stars do, which is just sing the end word of a lyrical stanza and then leave the rest to sound like warbling goop or shoving the microphone in a fan’s face to sing it for them. What’s even the point? If you can’t sing your own songs, why bother. I will also never understand why Vince sings Crue songs on a solo tour, when he has solo albums out. I know he had a shorter set than Tesla, but if you’re gonna sing Crue, “Wildside, “ and “Shout at the Devil” should be included in the set.
Surprisingly, he did break out OLD Crue. Now, in the “olden” days of Crue, Vince’s voice was much higher and well, he was more in tune, so as cool as it was to hear “Red Hot” and “Knock Em Dead Kid,” it just wasn’t the same. I also don’t understand his “disappearing” during guitar solos. He just simply walks off stage and emerges when its time to sing. If anyone can tell me what the hell he’s doing, fill me in. I thought lead singers were supposed to stay on stage and get the crowd going. Maybe that’s just me.
I can’t really comment on Vince’s band. They sound good, but it’s so hard to not look at them as a glorified Crue cover band. I’m sorry, but playing “Home Sweet Home” without Tommy Lee is almost sacrilegious. I know Crue did it with Samantha Maloney, and I thought it was just as bad then. Tommy needs to stop singing, go back to playing drums, Nikki and Mick need to get Crue going again, and Vince needs to take some hints from Jesse James Dupree and Jeff Keith and maybe, just maybe, someday we can FINALLY get back the Crue we used to love and fans won’t have to sit through this shameful display. Ok, all you Vince fans can now begin your rants.
It’s Getting Better Everyday
This is about my fourth time seeing Tesla since regrouping and they are without a doubt one of the best rock bands around. It’s so unfortunate they were lumped into that “hair metal” category in the past and critics didn’t realize what a gem of a band they were. They never got their dues and these days they should do deserve it.
Tesla has so much energy and is such a tight band. Frank Hannon has his chops down. I STILL think the guitar solo in “Heaven’s Trail (No Way Out)” is considered one of the most underrated in hard rock. They opened with “Action Talks,” and went right into a great version of “War Pigs,” which the crowd ate up. Other highlights were “Signs,” “Modern Day Cowboy,” “Mama’s Fool,” “Getting Better,” and “Little Suzi.” They broke out the softer tunes of “What U Give,” “Song and Emotion,” “Love Song” by the end of the night. I was a little disappointed they didn’t play the great “Edison’s Medicine” this time.
Jeff Keith seems so damn happy to be the singer for Tesla. He has a lot of energy and he almost balances the intensity Tommy Skeoch has on stage. Brian Wheat and Troy Luccketta provide a great rhythm section and prove the solid foundation Tesla stands on. If you even somewhat like Tesla, go see them. You won’t be disappointed.
I was lucky enough to get passes and meet with Tesla for a second time. They really are nice guys, as cliché as that sounds. They will stand and talk to you, sign anything and take as many pictures as you want. I saw Jeff talking up a storm to a little boy and this kid was just so overjoyed. I would have to say an interesting point of the evening was talking with a “tipsy” Tommy Skeoch about being kicked out of Tesla, rejoining the band, his past drug issues and AA meetings.
I have a feeling Tesla has been through a lot of shit, and considering how they sound, one has to got to commend the spirit and dedication to their music.