Wednesday, June 5, 2002 @ 3:42 PM
Bach & Friends Live at Clifton
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REVIEW BY: Toast
Long before his Broadway debut in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Sebastian Bach was known to have 2 distinct personalities, the arrogant asshole famous for his bottle throwing tantrums and the spectacular front man famous for his dynamic vocals. When I entered the club I wondered which personality would show up, and turned to my buddy and said, “I hope he’s not a dick!” Thankfully over 600 people witnessed the spectacular front man this time.
On this night, Sebastian’s friends included Paul Crook (Anthrax) and Al Pitrelli (Megadeth, Savatage) on guitar, Bam Bam on drums and Larry on bass. But to be honest, I really didn’t care who was playing guitar or drums, I came to hear the voice. I don’t want to hear anyone but David Lee Roth sing “Running With the Devil,” and don’t want to hear anyone but Sebastian Bach sing “18 and Life.” With apologies to the current Skid Row lineup, you can replace the guitar player without skipping a beat, but it is impossible to replace the singer and not lose a step. For the two hours that they were on stage, Sebastian’s vocals were flawless. He hit every note and didn’t use the crowd sing-along as an opportunity to hide a lack of vocal range like so many ‘80s singers do today (e.g. Don Dokken).
In addition to his great voice, I was surprised to see that he was in a great mood as well. Maybe the negative reports about him are over exaggerated. He was full of energy, headbanging and whipping the mic cord over his end. I didn’t come to hear a bunch of new songs, and thankfully he knew what the crowd wanted to hear.
When he opened with “Slave to the Grind,” I had a feeling it was going to be a good show full of crowd pleasers. The set included a couple of songs from his solo album, but mainly included songs he performed with Skid Row: “Sweet Little Sister,” “Piece of Me,” (dedicated to Osama Bin Laden) “Here I Am,” “18 & Life,” “I Remember You,” “Youth Gone Wild,” and a version “Monkey Business” with a bit of the Rocky Horror “Time Warp” thrown in from his time on Broadway. He also sang two songs from the Jekyll and Hyde musical that weren’t very rocking, but showcased his vocal range nonetheless.
The band didn’t move around much, especially Al Pitrelli who didn’t move more than 2 feet the whole night, but Sebastian more than made up for it. He was constantly in motion, talked to the crowd often and he even poked fun at himself (“Man it’s great to be out of jail. Jail sucks!”)
Maybe the negative reports are over exaggerated, or maybe we just got lucky. Either way, Sebastian Bach and Friends put on one of the best club shows I have seen in quite a while.