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Metal Mania 3 - "Stripped On The Strip Hollywood Concert (With Photo Gallery)

By A Headbanger, Do You Bang Head?
Tuesday, March 13, 2007 @ 5:44 PM

At The Key Club

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Reviewed By Brad:

I just found out about the “Stripped on the Strip” show less than a week beforehand. It may have been put together rather quickly, but I wasn’t going to pass up an acoustic show with a good variety of the metal bands from the 80's together in a fairly small place, the Key Club in Hollywood on March 7. Basically, this was a release party for Volume 3 of the VH1 Metal Mania 3 CD (which was also included in our ticket price). Not a bad disc if you enjoy these bands and how their songs come off acoustically.

I Arrived about 8:45, just in time to catch the last two songs from Jani Lane, former singer of Warrant. Despite all I’d read about Jani on the Metal Sludge website, Jani appeared coherent and in pretty good shape. His voice sounded just fine too. Unfortunately, I did not recognize either of his last two songs, although they both went over with the crowd pretty well.

Next up was Don Dokken...by himself, with just an acoustic guitar, a lit cigarette and a glass of Jack Daniels. Don mentioned that he contacted Mick Brown about the show, but ultimately decided just to do it himself, without any other band members. Don’s voice was as strong as ever and he did a bang up job playing “In My Dreams”, “Breaking the Chains” and finally “Alone Again." Before each song, Don would point out that he actually wrote all of these songs, not George (Lynch). Ah, they just won’t ever let it go, will they? Don played the acoustic guitar capably, although he was unable to do the solo for "Breaking the Chains" acoustically, and let us all know that this would be the case. Don played the extended version of "Alone Again", which is a couple minutes longer than the album version. As I recall, he has been doing a longer version of the song live for years now. Unfortunately, Don was the only one who did not come back out for the encore/jam at the end of the show.

Another short break and the full band of Great White hit the stage. They were the only group among those that played that I had not seen live previously. They sounded just fine, going through a few of their slower tunes, starting with “Train to Nowhere”, “House of Broken Love” and then “Save Your Love”. Obviously these songs translate to the acoustic setting quite well as they’re generally slower ballads. Great White is well known for their Zeppelin covers, and this night, they couldn’t resist playing a couple. First was “Going to California” and I believe the other was “Tangerine”, although I was not certain of this. Finally, they wrapped up their set with a fantastic version of “Rock Me”. The crowd responded with thunderous applause as they said their good nights.

Tesla came out next. Present were Jeff Keith, Frankie Hannon and “Dave,” who appears to be filling in for Tommy Skeoch. Anyone who has their 5 Man Acoustic Jam CD knows that these guys do a great job playing acoustic versions of their songs. They opened with “Modern Day Cowboy”, definitely one of their best songs ever. Next was a song that I had not heard acoustically before, “Song and Emotion”. Both these were excellent, leading into Tesla’s Zeppelin cover for the evening, “Thank You”. Jeff, Frankie and Dave finished their set with “What You Give”, “Signs” and finally “Love Song”. Each of these tunes came out great and the crowd roared in response.

Now, the Key Club was absolutely packed that night. There was nowhere to stand without being pretty much jammed up against everyone else nearby, with waitresses crashing through the crowd to get drinks to the VIP section, it was pretty damn uncomfortable. After Tesla, it was time to get some fresh air outside. After a few minutes, we discovered that they were not letting people back in. Some dipshit was laying on the ground in front of the club, missing one shoe, pulling off his shirt to show off his tats and talking on his cell phone. Those of us waiting to get in couldn’t figure out why they didn’t just send this guy packing and let us all back in. It was a weird scene, finally the sheriffs pulled up to deal with the guy and the bouncers were good enough to start letting people back in, just two at a time. As a result, we missed the beginning of Queensryche’s set...stupid bouncers.

Now, a decade ago, Queensryche was at the top of my list of favorite bands. Their EP, first few albums, all the way through Empire, were just brilliant. However, in my opinion, they have gone steadily downhill since then. The last couple times I saw them in concert, they played so many slow, boring, new songs that I’d had enough. Well, to some extent, this show was no exception. Don’t get me wrong, they sound fantastic live still, but the material just doesn’t do it for me. So, this is a long was of saying, I don’t know the names of three of their first four songs, the exception being “Sign of the Times”, which is on the last Queensryche album I bothered to buy, Hear in the Now Frontier. Anyway, it was Geoff Tate, along with Michael Wilton and I believe Mike Stone. Geoff’s voice is as strong as ever, and he showed it off in this acoustic setting. The finished their set with “Silent Lucidity” and a really good acoustic version of “Eyes of a Stranger”. It reminded me of how excellent the songs these guys used to write were. The crowd went crazy, as this song was one of the highlights of the evening.

Finally, just as I’d hoped, almost everyone (except Don Dokken) came out for a jam. They announced that this song was for “all the people who they wished were here with us tonight, but aren’t able to be”. I couldn’t tell if this was specifically referring to the Great White fire tragedy or more of a general statement, but either way, it was a nice introduction to a version of Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here”. It was a lot of fun to see everyone up there together and it looked like they were all having a great time. Jani Lane even made room at his microphone for Jeff Keith to sing, while Jack Russell and Geoff Tate shared the other. Was a nice way to end a fun and very unique show. Hopefully they’ll do something like this again some time.

Click on the thumbnail shots for larger pictures.

Photos by gnarlyfotos.com

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