War & Peace Live in Tarzana, CA

By Tokemaster General, Contributor
Sunday, September 5, 2004 @ 2:40 PM

Jeff Pilson's War & Peace Live

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REVIEW BY: TripleRex

First, here is the complete setlist (I snagged it off one of the monitors at the end of the show):

What Cost War
City in Flames
Beast in the Box
Don't Close Your Eyes
Burnin Like a Flame
Heaven Sent
Zero The End
The Shell
Desperate Hearts
Line in the Sand
Breath and a Scream
Snake Eyes
Tooth and Nail
It's Not Love

Just Got Lucky
Into The Fire

They came out slamin'. Jeff was just so full of energy. He is always a blast to see live. I saw Jeff at this very same club about two and half years ago at a Metal Sludge show with his short lived Underground Moon band. Anyway, back to War & Peace. They had a large banner behind the drum kit with the name/logo on it. The sound was very good. You could immediately tell the difference between true professionals and the amateur opening bands. This was War & Peace's first show and they already sounded 100 times better than those other bands.

The first little treat was Dokken's "Don't Close Your Eyes," which Jeff said was something a little obscure, but I'm sure most of us recognized it. He sounded great singing it. Next was "Burnin' Like a Flame" and "Heaven Sent." This was great because these are two songs that Dokken has not performed live in a very long time. Sounded really good for the most part, but Jeff was having trouble hitting the high notes, especially on Burnin'. He was straining a bit on the high notes and falling a tad flat sometimes. Next on "Zero The End" he sounded great. When they got to "Desperate Hearts," Jeff played a Guild 12-string acoustic. This song went over great live. Very powerful.

Just before "Breath and a Scream," Jeff announced that a special guest was going to come up and play. He was talking about George Lynch, of course. He was looking into the crowd trying to see George and asking people if anyone could see him standing around somewhere inside or outside. But nobody saw him because he didn't show up. So they played the song with Mitch on guitar. This song was one of the highlights for me. Jeff's vocals were stellar and they extended the solo, so Mitch really had a chance to rip it up.

A few more songs, then the last one "It's Not Love." I wasn't surprised to hear this because this used to be the encore when Jeff was gigging around L.A. with his earlier form of War & Peace around 1990. Sounded great. Jeff did the crowd participation thing in the middle. Kind of a small crowd, but still fun.

First encore "Just Got Lucky" -- Incredible. Out of all the Dokken songs, I think Jeff sounded the best on this one. He used to sing this live when he was still in Dokken so no surprise there. Second encore "Into The Fire" -- Pretty good. The bass guitar stood out on this one because he was using a 5-string bass, so on the D-chords he would go down to the low D, which made it sound super heavy. Great guitar solo.

Jeff played rhythm a lot, definitely more than half the songs. He was playing a couple different Gibson Les Pauls. He had a Marshall amp head and a Vai Legacy speaker cab. Jeff's performance was superb all around. He really has great stage presence. Other than having a little trouble hitting some of the high notes (and I was probably the only one who noticed), he sounded incredible.

Fro on drums. Awesome! That guy can play. And he had a nifty new haircut as well. He sang some backups, too.

Brad Lang on bass. Jeff announced that he was their secret weapon and he was right. Brad was hitting all of the super high notes on backup vocals. The whole band did some great 3- and 4-part harmonies.

Mitch Perry on guitar. He was shredding like crazy. He did a lot of two handed tapping things and a lot of fast playing. He really seemed to be enjoying himself. His extended solo in "Breath and a Scream" was awesome. I have to say that he sounded better when he played his own licks compared to when he was trying to copy one of George's solos. For example, on "Into The Fire," he didn't copy George's solo at all and played his own thing. It sounded great. On "Tooth and Nail," he tried to copy the solo note for note and it wasn't quite as dynamic. Do your own solos, Mitch! Anyway, he was really fun to watch.

It's unbelievable that this was their first show. Considering that, they were truly amazing. I wish they would have the chance to tour and play many, many shows so that they could really tighten it up because this band rocks.

The set was very cool. I kind of wish they had done some other more obscure Dokken songs like "Don't Close Your Eyes." I think they could easily leave out "Tooth and Nail" and "It's Not Love" and replace them with a couple others. No complaints, though. It was a great show and I'm so glad I had a chance to see this band.

Jeff, thanks for an amazing night of great music. You rocked!

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