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Near Life Experience Live in The Woodlands, TX

By Larry Petro, News Monkey
Saturday, February 7, 2004 @ 11:48 PM


Steve Blaze-fronted Near Life

- advertisement -
Well, the year 2004 got off to a rip-roaring start here in Houston, Texas as Near Life Experience, the band created by Lillian Axe guitarist Steve Blaze, rolled into town for their first show of the new year.

Starting off the night's festivities was local Houston band Mr. Lucky. This was a band made up of musicians from a Def Leppard tribute band, High N Dry. They came out and warmed up the moderately sized crowd with a mixture of original and cover tunes. The band played an extremely tight set and were most impressive. Their twin guitarists, Steve Jones in particular, can just shred it up with the best of them. The vocalist, who is also the other guitarist, impressed me with his singing ability. I could not see how the vocals I heard came from this man, given his stature. You just don't think he can belt it out, but he did. One of their original tunes, aptly named Mr. Lucky, was well received. A very solid set from these guys.

Then it came time for the maestro himself to take the stage. The band launched into their set with the first track from the band's latest release, Day of Silver Sun, called “Mother.” This was my second time to see NLE and as with the last time, they totally blew me away. This also marked the first show for newly hired bassist Joel Cooper, who replaced longtime NLE member Paul Starnes, who left the band recently to pursue other interests. Joel did a nice job in his first gig, more than adequately filling in to his new settings. And Steve was, well, Steve. He brought his 'A' game to the show, which his fans will tell you is nothing new. They played a phenomenal 15-song set, relying heavily on material from the band's latest CD, mentioned above, as well a couple of tracks, “Golden Dragon” and “I Am Beyond,” which are sure to be included on the band's next studio effort and even 2 cover tunes, those being an awesome version of Led Zeppelin's “Dancin’ Days” and Alice in Chains’ “Them Bones.”

The setlist, in order:

Mother
Change Your Mind
Retrieve the Bodies
Razorface
Dancin’ Days
I Am Beyond
Day of Silver Sun
Cradle By The Sea
Golden Dragon
Them Bones
Eden
New World Spirit
We're All So Strange
Rock-N-Roll Killed the Family
Congenital Sadness

Steve Blaze never ceases to amaze me and his performances are nothing short of full out rock. Hopefully, 2004 will be a great year for the guys in NLE. Also, stay tuned for another surprise from Blaze.

(Photos by Larry Petro)



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