Firehouse had to cancel out the night before this show went down due to a problem with their schedule. That’s rock ‘n’ roll for you. But, these things happen and you can’t blame the band. Hopefully, they’ll come through this area again because a lot of people wanna see them. They’ve got a good following in Central Pennsylvania, that’s for sure. Anyway, that left us with Warrant and Dokken and, believe me, that was enough to provide a great deal of satisfaction.
I’ve been a Warrant fan for years and while I can’t honestly claim to know all of their music…I’m still missing a few CD’s…it didn’t seem to matter because the band came out and gave the audience a lot of what they expected to hear and a little bit more. They did a lot of material from their debut album, which was a real pleasure because that was a magical time for the band. I always thought that “D.R.F.S.R.” was a great record and those songs hold up rather well, especially live, they come off sounding a bit heavier and more aggressive. “Cherry Pie” was another crowd pleaser and, once again, it was a lot heavier than what you hear on record. I believe they did “Machine Gun” as well and the rest of their set were from their past few albums, which are the ones that I’m not too familiar with. The band came out and they were like a ball of energy. After more than a decade on the road, it doesn’t seem like they’re ready to slow down, especially Jani Lane, who kept that personal connection with the crowd through the entire show. He wanted to make sure the crowd had a good time and I believe he accomplished that goal. For those of you who pass Warrant off as a thing of the past, you obviously haven’t seen them live. They’ve still got what it takes to survive in this business…and I’m not saying that because I’m a fan. Believe me, if I thought they sucked, I’d have no problem telling you that. But, they came, they saw and they kicked ass and that’s all there is to it.
Next up was Dokken and I got to view their show with a little knowledge since I saw an early show on this tour…one of the first few, actually, before they went over to Europe. That show, John Norum (guitar) was in the band and that was who I interviewed. This time, I got the chance to speak with Don Dokken.
As many of you know John is no longer with Dokken due to an injury. But, with the exception of John, it’s the same line up as last time, which is Don, drummer Mick Brown, bassist Barry Sparks and new guitarist Alex De Rosso. The set list, as I remember it, was pretty much the same, which was what you heard on the “Live From The Sun” album with some new tunes from their latest release, “Long Way From Home.” Having seen Dokken two times in a row, I have to say that this show was the better of the two. The band seemed to be in excellent shape and their performance was a lot tighter than it was the last time they came through town. Having a member change is usually a set back, especially when you’re on the road. But, it didn’t seem to slow Dokken down at all. Alex fit into the band perfectly and I think there was more of an edge to this performance than there was the list time. They were all over the stage, working up the crowd and the one thing I really appreciate is the fact that a Dokken show pretty much goes through their entire history in terms of what songs they choose to perform. You get the classic material and you get the current material as well. Let’s put it this way…it was a very, well balanced show. I admire Dokken…and Warrant…for sticking to their guns and doing what they do best and that’s rock ‘n’ roll.