Archive for November, 2015

Skid Row, 30 Years, Irving Plaza

Skid Row, 25 Years, Irving Plaza

Last Wednesday Night Skid Row returned to Irving Plaza to celebrate 25 plus years of being, well…completely badass.

Set to hit the stage at 10:00pm (after direct support from The Blackfires who never disappoint), promptly at 10:02pm a deep red light filled the stage and The Ramones “Blitzkrieg Bop” came blasting over the PA System, obviously the work of the Skids as they are big fans. In tow this time however was “real” singer number 3, Tony Harnell who is mostly famous for his work with Norwegian Rock/Metal band TNT. Tony has always been known for his golden pipes with said band and through various other projects leading up to his now current time as front man of Skid Row. Which, let’s face it, is no easy task. From Iconic drama queen Sebastian Bach whom the band had mega success with throughout the late 80’s and early 90’s (Do I really need to name songs?) onto the edgier less polished Johnny Solinger to just a few months in, Tony Harnell.

Immediately kicking the show into high gear with heavy opener “Slave to The Grind”, Skid Row seemed to turn Irving Plaza into an instant time warp. Not to say their music seems dated because it truly doesn’t, a good song is a good song now or 20 some odd years ago. What I mean when I say that is that the band seemed completely youthful, hell Rachel Bolan certainly knows where the fountain of youth is because the guy looks amazing. “Slave” lead us into “Big Guns”, another classic Skid Row song from the monster selling self-titled debut from 1989. Keeping the energy on high next up was “Let’s Go” off of Solinger era EP United World Rebellion: Chapter One. Barely 20 minutes into the show the band let us know that this wasn’t going to be some novelty act trip down memory lane, better yet, that it was a group stronger and ever wiser than before relishing in an almost 30-year history and looking brightly to the future. More interesting still after the opening onslaught was hearing Tony Harnell announce to the crowd “We’re Skid Row!”

Harnell is no slouch when it comes to hitting these parts right on. As usual his voice was primo, although coming off a little stiff in performance at times he is filling his role just fine. Honestly, when I first heard the news of him joining the band it seemed totally logical to me. The core of Skid Row; Rachel, Snake and Scotti you can tell are not holding any punches with him. Most of the big hits were all nestled into the set list among some deeper cuts so he definitely had his work cut out for him. Is he Sebastian Bach? Nope. Johnny Solinger? Nah. He’s truly a singer that can hold his own ground and not be afraid to take on such a task.

A few things were very apparent throughout the course of the performance, the main observation being that the band looked very happy and content, Snake especially who along with Rachel took some time in between a few songs to speak to the audience who were many and fully receptive to the current Skid Row. Rachel talked about how they hadn’t played Irving Plaza since 1995 and went on to thank the audience and wax romantic about his love for The Ramones which lead us into their superior cover of “Psycho Therapy” in which Bolan sings lead on. I personally am a big time Rachel lover, his vocals, bass chops, style…he’s got it in spades.

Snake too took some time out to get personal with his audience. This is a man that is truly humbled by the continued support and completely gracious. It’s really amazing to see that.

The band ended their set with chart topper “Monkey Business” from their second record Slave to The Grind which was a major song back when it debuted on MTV in 1991 every hour upon the hour as an Exclusive plunging the band into even more super stardom. The near 15-minute version of the song that we were presented with this night was completely flesh melting. Snake and Scotti are absolute animals and traded about 10 minutes’ worth of Solos in the center of the song. Truly awe inspiring and leaving the crowd wanting more, much, much more.

Which then lead us to the encore of “Youth Gone Wild”. The one song, that started it all and the one song that would end it for us on this night ONLY. Skid Row is far from done. There is much to look forward to with Harnell at the helm. More shows and I’m quite sure a new record. For those of you that think these bands who had hits from so many years ago are washed up and just resting on their laurels wanting to reclaim their past, think again. Anyone that was in attendance knows the facts. So get it straight or take a hike! Plainly, Skid Row still rocks.

Skid Row setlist 11.04.15 Irving Plaza, NYC

Skid Row setlist 11.04.15 Irving Plaza, NYC

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