Live Photos and Gig Review: Shadow Editor
Another day another tour comes through the area. For many touring musicians it must feel relieved to finally be back on the road after the struggles of the last two years. While it can be challenging to get notable acts to certain cities and towns across the states, leave it to the unity of Rock to bring acts like Skid Row, Winger, and Quiet Riot to rural places like Albertville, Alabama. Such is the case with this tour, to be honest probably the last place I would have expected these lot to play. Not being at this specific venue before, it was a pleasant surprise. Not only was the venue mostly packed, the lawn areas of the establishment are nicely kept and give the fans that bought general admission passes, a nice view of the main stage.
Open door venues like this one can be hit or miss; especially when it comes to weather. On this day the chance of storms was looming around the area, but we lucked out and had a brilliant nice day and we manage to escape the weather altogether.
Quiet Riot has been through a tough time the last few years, given the untimely passing of drummer and leader Frank Banali after a long battle with pancreatic cancer in 2020. Banali was 68 and a stable and long-time member of the band. He reformed the band in 2010 and brought on board vocalist Jizzy Pearl, bassist Chuck Wright, and guitarist Alex Grossi. The current touring lineup includes legendary bass player Rudy Sarzo, who was in Quiet’s most famous lineup in the 80’s, alongside Grossi and former Type o Negative drummer Johnny Kelly. Jizzy is back on vocals again and during this touring run. The band has stated publicly they plan on releasing music through 22 and 23.
The night kicks off strong here while we still have daylight, Sarzo comes out in his colorful pants and is nothing but pure energy. For a guy who’s 71 years old, he sure doesn’t act like it on stage. Jizzy is solid on vocals as he laid down some of the Quiet Riot classics like “Metal Health” and “Cum On Feel the Noize” with pristine classic hair metal era nostalgia. Not a bad way to kick things off as they welcome the night and we await Winger to come on stage.
Kip Winger is another 80’s rock staple that earned success in the golden years of Rock yesterday. His band Winger had several well-known hits with “Seventeen”, “Easy Come Easy Go” and “Headed for a Heartbreak” to name a few. The Winger lineup here was, of course, Kip on Bass, Jake Faun the replacement for Reb Beach who’s on tour with Whitesnake in the UK, the great Rod Morgenstein on drums, Paul Taylor on keys, and Jon Roth on Rhythm and Lead Guitar. The lighting here at the Sand Mountain is pretty solid, and when the lights go down the main stage looks formidable for some nice photo ops. Kip Winger sounds pretty solid and the band overall is in fine shape. A couple of highlights for me came via “Deal With The Devil” and “Can’t Get Enuff”. Just in case you were wondering, the filling guitar player for Beach, Jake Faun is solid and hit the guitar solos with pristine execution.
Skid Row took some time to get on stage, we finally see the guys kick things off and for me very high anticipation, not only to see and hear how they still can deliver the old classics but to see how well new vocalist Erik Grönwall, former H.E.A.T could deliver on the highs and some of Skids classics that not many people could reimagine anymore. Sebastian Bach has always been a favorite of mine from the 80s, and many fans of that era have a big affinity towards Skid Row’s classics. There is always some degree of the doubt when a new singer comes in on iconic bands that just don’t have their original singer anymore, for whatever the reason fans live in a nostalgic universe if you are going to find someone to breathe new life into the classics, find somebody like Erik!!! Not only does he provide charisma and stage presence, but he’s a fantastic vocalist to boot!!!
What better way to start the night and to leave a long-lasting impression than to smash right into “Slave To The Grind”, “18 and Life” and “Psycho Therapy” all sounded great and Erik just keeps hitting the highs with ease. As Rachel Bolan said, ‘The Crazy Swede” can hit all the right notes. The hits continue with “Monkey Business” and “In A Darkened Room”. My only letdown was hoping to hear “Quicksand Jesus” but that’s okay add that to the wishlist. The night ends with another classic in “Young Gone Wild” and the seemingly short setlist would appeal to classic fans of the band and new just by introducing the new vocalist to the forefront. If you get a chance to check them out on tour, please do you won’t regret it. Maybe new music in the future works? If you have never checked out Erik’s past band H.E.A.T, you are sure missing out. On a personal note, I think is great to see Erik back in action after battling cancer, he is back healthy again after 5 months battle. Hell of a way to come back!!!