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TORA TORA In Houston, TX With Photos!

By Larry Petro, News Monkey
Wednesday, February 7, 2018 @ 7:54 AM


Band Makes Long-Awaited Return To H-Town

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All Photos By Larry Petro/Petrofyed Photography

The band's first big tour with L.A. GUNS and DANGEROUS TOYS in the 80's. Playing a KNAC party. These were but a couple of the stories that were heard after the show when bluesy hard rockers TORA TORA played in Houston, Texas in January. Morever, although no one could pinpoint the exact date and year, the general consensus among everyone was that it had been around 25 years since TORA TORA had graced the Bayou City with their presence. Judging from the reaction of the near packed house at BFE Rock Club, these guys were sorely missed. Flying in for a one-off show that was rescheduled from the day after Thanksgiving, who could have predicted the size of this turnout?

This particular night would be a full night of rock 'n' roll, with at least 8 bands playing on both the inside stage and the outside patio stage. There would something for everyone, ranging from the pop rocks sounds of STARFLIGHT ROCKS, who used this show to announce their name change to ROZY, to the acoustic duo called VINYL CUT, featuring a Houston favorite vocalist Rob Howl of former H-Town party band MIDNIGHT CIRCUS and guitarist Jeff Clifton of AZRAEL'S BANE, to one of my personal favorites TAME FURY, who sported a revamped lineup and rocked harder than I have ever seen them perform and THE UNLED, who were by far the heaviest band of the night. If you couldn't find something that suited your tastes during this show then you probably should have stayed at home.

Just before midnight TORA TORA took the stage to a rousing ovation and the start of "Love's A Bitch" from the band's 1989 debut album, Surprise Attack. From there it was an all-out blitz of heavy rock from the Tennessee band as they plowed through 13 of their best songs to the delighted crowd. A lot of pundits of the 80's music scene might consider TORA TORA among the B-List of bands from that era behind the RATTs, POISONs and GUNS N' ROSES but if you had stated that during the band's show you probably would have gotten your ass kicked. For everyone that was there, TORA TORA was top dog for the evening. For original members bassist Patrick Francis, guitarist Keith Douglas and drummer John Patterson, the long locks of yesteryear are long gone, being replaced with more respectable short hairstyles and in Patterson's case, a shiny chrome dome. With his facial features and short hair, Douglas bears a resemblance to a younger Don Johnson while vocalist Anthony Corder looks almost exactly as he did 30 years ago with his boyish looks simply transplanted into an adult body.

The "dad-band" (a phrase coined by Patrick Francis following the show) was so excited to be in Houston again and it showed frequently throughout the set of tracks like "Amnesia", "Nowhere To Go But Down" (which included the first fan singalong portion of the show) and my personal favorite, "Guilty". I honestly had forgotten how many great songs they had as hit after hit kept coming. The band even played a couple of tracks from their long lost third album, Revolution Day, from which the title track and "Mississippi Voodoo Child" were performed. The band finished their set on a high note with "Phantom Rider", a goosebump-inducing number that once again had the crowd singing as loud as they could, and "Walkin' Shoes", their first hit single and video.

For a band that goes way back with the legendary KNAC, it was a pleasure to finally cross the band off of my bucket list. With a recently announced signing to Frontiers Music and a new album to come in 2019, let's hope it's not another 25 years before they make their way back to Houston.

Setlist:

  • "Love's A Bitch"
  • "28 Days"
  • "Amnesia"
  • "Cold Fever"
  • "Lay Your Money Down"
  • "Mississippi Voodoo Child"
  • "Guilty"
  • "Nowhere To Go But Down"
  • "Dead Man's Hand"
  • "Revolution Day"
  • "City Of Kings"
  • "Phantom Rider"
  • "Walkin' Shoes"
https://www.facebook.com/ToraToraBand/

Check out some more photos from the show!
All Photos By Larry Petro/Petrofyed Photography


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