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By Andrew Depedro, Ottawa Corespondent
Monday, August 18, 2014 @ 7:02 PM

SKID ROW's United Forces Prove Unstoppable At The Obsession Bar & Grill Along With ADRYNALINE And RUSTED, Ottawa, Canada, August 17, 2014

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I'll start this review with a public service announcement: When at a traditional Ukrainian wedding just as I had been at the day before this concert make sure the guests have just as many helpings of watermelon slices available as they do vodka shots. First wedding I've attended in which I've not only left sober but also having lost ten pounds. Congratulations to Phil and Mary on their consummation of marriage. MADONNA and WHAM! still suck though. Dlya harnoho zdorov'ya!

Luckily I've recovered quick enough to review an 80's comeback that more than two people care about as a bunch of wild youths once discovered by Jon Bon Jovi brought their current United World Rebellion world tour northward with their first Canadian date taking place at the Obsession Bar & Grill. Yes, there was a noticeable change in the lineup for those of us who either haven't seen the band since 1989 or in my case had never seen the band at all until this date. But yet they persevered. Meanwhile, it was up to the opening bands to rile up anticipation amongst the crowd which was what Montreal-based glam/trad rockers RUSTED did with almost little effort. This would be my second time catching the band currently touring and heavily promoting their latest (well, first) full-length disc, Rock Patrol, having already caught them on AUTOGRAPH's sparsely-attended set back in May. I was only able to catch the last three songs from their set but fortunately the setlist order hadn't really strayed too far from the norm from when I had last saw them play. Frontman Tony Rust still pulls off his Axl Dickinson moves and vocals on tracks such as "Young Wild And Free" and the new chant-friendly rocker "Tsunami", while guitarists Tommy D Eagle and ManiaK channel the dual axe attack of Tipton and Downing with fresh exuberance. And overall RUSTED put a shine on the stage yet again on their second visit back to Ottawa this year.


Also making another appearance would be local rockers ADRYNALINE, whom I had last seen grace the stage with RED DRAGON CARTEL in April. And it sounds like since then they've introduced a few new songs into their catalogue. Good version of "For Whom The Bell Tolls" (first time I ever heard female vocals on the song) and "Shoot To Thrill" was somewhat abbreviated (someone forgot the cue for the guitar solo) but it still worked. Now it was when Just Kim, Skotti and the rest of the band tackled new numers such as "Rocket Queen" that they handled the songs as if they were their own, especially Just Kim who took the song to more of a female perspective. The "newest" song that they did was a cover of a cover, it being KORN's take of PINK FLOYD's "Another Brick In The Wall". Now, sure, when KORN covered it many hard rock fans cried blasphemy but to be honest I'd heard the original so often it had gotten dull and was really one of these songs that wasn't really indicative on how musically ambitious on what PINK FLOYD could put out as a whole. So while ADRYNALINE's cover of the song was just a cover of a cover it was at least an ambitious choice. But their covers of "Heaven And Hell", "Fade To Black", "Jesus Christ Pose" and "Killing In The Name Of" were the crowd-pleasers of the night and showed that ADRYNALINE weren't running out of energy any time soon even though I know there's a killer band with original songs lurking beneath them.


But much like ADRYNALINE at RED DRAGON CARTEL's set back in April, they also weren't the only band with a repertoire of classic hard rock songs to unleash as this was after all the first Canadian date for headliners SKID ROW, whose new disc United World Rebellion was further cementing the current relationship between most of the original band (Dave Sabo, Rachel Bolan, Scotty Hill) and their singer Johnny Solinger. For me and many others it's still odd to see Solinger rather than his more well-known predecessor Sebastian Bach belt out the classic SKID ROW cuts live, which has been his gig for the past 15 years and has also yielded 3 albums' worth of original material that he's either written or contributed to including United. But he does belt them out live with every bit of energy and fury as Bach has done in the past. And he's not camera shy. For that matter, neither were Sabo or Hill, who, while often sharing a private joke between each other during a song, they'd still hit their cue on the mark when it came to the classic SKID ROW numbers like "18 And Life", "Monkey Business", "Slave To The Grind" and naturally "Youth Gone Wild". The newer numbers such as "Kings Of Demolition" and "We Are The Damned" had all of the classic hard rock enthusiasm that SKID ROW's songs were known for coupled with song gritty punk rock cred. Which they further established when Rachel Bolan took the vocals on their cover of THE RAMONES' "Psycho Therapy" from 1995's B-Sides Ourselves covers album. They also got further points for not giving their best-known hit "I Remember You" the punk rock treatment, keeping the powerful ballad true to its core. And closing numbers "Slave To The Grind" and "Youth Gone Wild" exhibited the street ready and street wise metal which made up SKID ROW's sound and image back when their debut album dropped a quarter century ago.

Back when SKID ROW were such a popular entity that Sebastian Bach could find himself on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine the closest that I could see them live was on an episode of ,I>Saturday Night Live while most of my other friends caught their famous Lansdowne Park show in 1992 when they helped bring metal to the mainstream by taking on PANTERA as their opening band. Now while I could only live vicariously through that event I can at least lay claim to having seen why despite the massive world tours they've since undertook both with Bach and Solinger, SKID ROW have always remained loyal to the fans by remaining close to them in the small venue environment. And this first Canadian date on their current North American tour has, according to them, established that. Here's to many more years of grinding on the road for all of the right reasons and uniting the fans worldwide.



  • "Let's Go"
  • "Big Guns"
  • "Makin' A Mess"
  • "Piece Of Me"
  • "18 And Life"
  • "Thick Is The Skin"
  • "Riot Act"
  • "In A Darkened Room"
  • "Kings Of Demolition"
  • "Ghost"
  • "Psycho Therapy"
  • "I Remember You"
  • "Monkey Business"
  • "We Are The Damned"
  • "Slave To The Grind"
  • "Youth Gone Wild"

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