The Motels/ Bow Wow Wow/ When In Rome II at the House of Blues Orlando on 1-25-20 By Jesse Striewski/Photos By Brooke Striewski

When In Rome

The 1980’s might be long gone, but there’s no doubt that the spirit of that decade lives on via the music it gave us, as well as both the bands – and fans – who continue to keep it alive. This was evident last Saturday night, January 25, when the House of Blues in Orlando hosted the Totally ’80s Live Tour, which featured a trio of acts who each made their own respective marks on the era at the time.

When In Rome II originally spawned from England in the late ’80s, and are best remembered for their 1988 synth pop hit “The Promise.” This version of the band (another version still occasionally performs, hence the “II” in this one’s name) is led by original keyboardist Michael Floreale, and has been going strong for over a decade now. The band recently added former Ultravox singer (and ex-Enuff Z’Nuff guitarist) Tony Fennall to their lineup. Rather than focus only on their older material, the group actually included a heavy mix of recent and semi-recent numbers in their set, including “Metropolis,” “Kings and Queens,” “Don’t Tell Me,” “All Stood Still,” and “Haunted” before of course closing things out with “The Promise.”

Shortly after their set, I briefly interviewed Floreale in the band’s backstage area, where he told me how “surprised” he was regarding the crowd reaction the band has been receiving when performing said newer tracks so far on this tour. Be on the lookout for the full interview to post shortly on all of Rewind It Magazine’s social media accounts, as well as YouTube. 

Another underrated band from the ’80s time frame, Bow Wow Wow, were next on the bill. Much like When In Rome II, the band is held together by one sole original member, bassist Leigh Gorman, yet are still as tight as ever. Energetic newcomer Kristen Dinsmore does a more than admirable job filing the shoes of beloved former front woman Annabella Lwin, and current guitarist Erik Ferentinos keeps the post-punk spark that influenced the likes of the Red Hot Chili Peppers back in the day alive and well. Fan favorites such as “Aphrodisiac,” “Do You Wanna Hold Me,” “Baby, Oh No,” and “Louis Quatorze” all made their way in the band’s set list before closing out strong with their rendition of “I Want Candy.”

And finally, The Motels took the stage to great applause. At 68, it’s no small feat for band leader Martha Davis to still perform as well as she does. Slightly reserved at first, things picked up quickly once she took off her hat and truly let her hair down (or in this case, up!). Classics both old and new graced their set, with “Suddenly Last Summer,” “Total Control,” “Careful,” “Cry Baby,” “Punchline,” and “Only the Lonely” being among the highlights.

Without a doubt everyone who was at the House of Blues in Orlando was taken on a trip down memory lane they won’t soon forget. Be sure to catch the tour when it comes to your town, and don’t forget to keep an eye out for our exclusive interview with When In Rome II keyboardist Michael Floreale!

 

The Radolescents at Shovelhead Lounge on 1/3/2020 By Jesse Striewski/Photos By Seth Johnson

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It’s been a minute or two since the last time I made it to a really good (or “rad”), old school punk show, especially one that represented as many sub-genres as the recent Radolescents show I caught at the Shovelhead Lounge this past Friday, January 3.

For those who don’t already know, The Radolescents are made up of former members of classic Orange County, CA punk outfit The Adolescents (who are still active to this day as well), centering around core members Rikk Agnew (guitar), and Casey Royer (drums), who also shared time together in such legendary punk acts as D.I. and Social Distortion. The two have also enlisted Agnew’s nephew, Frank Agnew, Jr. (also the son of former Adolescents guitarist, Frank) on vocals, and original Adolescents guitarist John O’Donovan (who was briefly a member of the band during their inaugural period back in 1980).  But before I get to their set, there was a host of other bands who played beforehand in support.

Orlando’s own Grave Return opened the show with much enthusiasm. Their slightly-snotty sound was reminiscent of early punk acts such as The Dead Boys, noticeable on tracks like “Night Visions.” It’s clear these guys should be around for awhile.

Tommy Frenzy’s Hard Drive were next up in line. Originally hailing from the New York punk scene of the mid/late ’70s, Frenzy’s set list consisted of classics from his time fronting the Tuff Darts, as well as brand new numbers off his latest release on Violent Breed Records, You Yeah You. Backed by the husband and wife rhythm section of Roger (bass) and Suzy Lamoureux (drums), Tommy & co. ripped through a set of tracks that included “”That Girl is Stupid,” “Hottest Thing,” “Don’t Play Shy,” “She’s Dead,” “Phone Booth Man,” “Businessman,” and “Here Comes Trouble” (among others).

Hard Drive bassist Roger then pulled double-duty, performing next with the more hardcore-influenced local act Swift Knuckle Solution. Aside from regular members Tony Marks (drums/vocals), and Lance White (guitar), Roger was also joined by guitarist and former Suburban Lockdown band mate Mike Roberts. The guys plowed relentlessly through tracks like “Spinning Sides,” “Loss of Control,” and “One Wrong Step” before making way for Radolescents tour mates The Hajj.

I must admit, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect from The Hajj. But as soon as they started their set, I totally got it. This two piece act, lead by brothers Freddie and Phil Al-Hajj, played more laid back, ska-influenced jams. It was clear by the time they finished their set they had left an undeniable impression on the central, FL crowd.

And finally, The Radolescents finished off the night, running through their 1981 self-titled debut album (a.k.a. the “blue” album) in its entirety. From the album’s lead off track “I Hate Children” to album closer “Creatures,” every track got its due, with classics such as “Who is Who,” “Kids of the Black Hole,” “No Way,” and “Amoeba” of course receiving the highest praise. The band then played the first two tracks from the Welcome to Realty EP, including the title track and “Losing Battle,” before rather unceremoniously ending their set.

Still, the band sounded as spot on as can be, and every note played felt like it was right off the records themselves. I’ve actually seen the “other” version of The Adolescents live before (back in 2013), then-consisting of vocalist Tony Reflex and bassist Steve Soto (rest in peace). But I think this version of the band not only sounded tighter than that one, it somehow felt even more authentic (especially now without Soto remaining in that band). Those in attendance last Friday night were lucky enough to witness a night of some epic, old school punk. Truly a trip down memory lane that I’m glad I took.

-J.S.

 

Creedence Clearwater Revisited at the Seminole Hard Rock Event Center Tampa on 12/18/19 By Jesse Striewski/Photos by Brooke Striewski

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They say that all good things must finally come to an end. After roughly 25 years together, Creedence Clearwater Revisited – which features original Creedence Clearwater Revival members Stu Cook (bass) and Doug Clifford (drums) – are finally hanging up the towel on their Final Revival Tour. Normally we here at Rewind It Magazine stick to Orlando/Daytona-based events, but knowing that this would be the last chance ever to catch these legends live, we made the trip to see them.

Although I had some of the same reservations as many regarding a John Fogerty-less CCR, I went in with as open a mind as possible, and was instantly glad I did. The band skipped the usual opening act (a welcomed addition when you’ve traveled a couple of hours just to see a certain group) and got right down to business,  opening their set with a handful of hits in the form of “Born on the Bayou,” “Green River,” “Lodi,” “Who’ll Stop the Rain,” and, my personal favorite, “Hey Tonight.” It was quickly apparent that current front man Dan McGuinness was more than suitable in Fogerty’s original place. Lead guitarist Kurt Griffey and keyboardist Steve “The Captain” Gunner also did more than admirable jobs rounding out the lineup.

The band then slowed things down a bit with the tearjerker “Long As I Can See the Light” before ripping into more classic numbers like “I Put a Spell on You,” “Down on the Corner,” “Lookin’ Out my Back Door,” and a vicious version of “I Heard it Through the Grapevine,” which featured not only guitar and bass solos, but an all-out jam session from the entire band as well.

More classics quickly followed in the form of “Midnight Special,” “Bad Moon Rising,” and “Proud Mary” before the band brought the entire audience to their feet for “Fortunate Son.” The guys slowed things down once more for “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?” before going into “Cotton Fields.” Cook then took the time to address the audience and show his appreciation to them before finally closing out the night with a righteous rendition of “Up Around the Bend.” Like The Beatles, the music of CCR has been ingrained in me as it has been for so many others before me…by my parents. Hearing these songs finally played live after a lifetime of listening to them was nothing short of magical, bringing this amazing journey through music of mine one step closer to full circle.

 

Chubby Checker at the Volusia County Fairgrounds on 11/12/19 Words By Jesse Striewski/Photos By Brooke Striewski

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I’ve been to a lot, and I do mean A LOT of concerts over the years. But I don’t think I’ve ever been to one as “classic” Chubby Checker, and up until this past Tuesday, November 11, the earliest rock group I had previously seen in concert was The Rolling Stones. Checker’s first major hit, “The Twist,” dates as far back as 1960. So it was only fitting that this would also be my 13-year-old son’s first concert experience as well. 

On this particular evening, Checker treated all those in attendance at the Tommy Lawrence arena at the Volusia County Fairgrounds in DeLand, FL to a night of truly classic rock and roll music. Starting things off with “Good Good Lovin’,” he kept taking everyone in attendance down memory lane with hits like “Twist it Up,” “Dancin’ Party,” “I’m Walkin’,” and “Blueberry Hill” before slowing things down a bit for the bittersweet “Changes.”

He kept the party going with more classics, hitting the crowd with “Pony Time,” “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” “Rollin’ with the Flow,” “Peggy Sue,” “Limbo Rock,” “Blue Suede Shoes/Rock Around the Clock,” and “I Heard it Through the Grapevine/My Girl,” and “Hello Stranger” before finally knocking the socks off the joint (along with a number a female guests from the audience who joined him on stage at this point) with his most well-known hits “The Twist” and “Let’s Twist Again.” It was a night full of personal firsts and legendary rock music that I will definitely treasure for the rest of my days.

 

Sebastian Bach and Vixen at the Hard Rock Live Orlando on 10/30/19 By Jesse Striewski/Photos by Brooke Striewski

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Last year Rewind It Magazine was there to bring you coverage of former Skid Row front man Sebastian Bach’s show at The Plaza Live. This past Wednesday night, October 30, at the Hard Rock Live in Orlando, Bach seemed to be full of a sense of rejuvenation as he plowed through a set that consisted entirely of his former band’s music, and the crowd ate up every minute. It was no small feat for him to pull off such an epic show, either, considering he was dealing with personal issues, having just learned of his family’s home in California being under evacuation due to wildfires shortly before going on stage.

Newcomers Kobra and the Lotus kicked off the night with the appropriate amount of enthusiasm expected from a lesser-experienced act.  Front woman Kobra Paige was easily the center of attention as she slinked around on stage in a blue jump suit, belting out numbers like “Burn!” and “Let me Love You.” It also didn’t hurt she had immense talent backing her, including the dual guitar work of Jasio Kulakowski and Ronny Gutierrez.

Vixen were up next, and have been on my radar of bands to see for awhile now. Although something did feel like it was missing without former vocalist Janet Gardner and of course founding guitarist Jan Kuehnemund (R.I.P.), former Femme Fatale singer Lorraine Lewis and Jaded guitarist Britt Lightning did more than admirable jobs in their shoes (especially Lightning, whose looks first caught my eye when I saw her play with Jaded back in 2005). The band opened their set with a number from Lewis’ previously mentioned former band, “Waiting on the Big One.” More songs from throughout the band’s career followed, including “Cryin’,” “Runnin’ with the Devil/I Want You to Rock Me” and “You Ought to Know,” before of course ending it with their most recognizable hit, “Edge of a Broken Heart.”

Finally Bach hit the stage, opening his set curiously with a more obscure Skid Row number, “Forever,” before going into the first Skid Row album in it’s entirety as promised. And as soon as the familiar riffs of “Big Guns” kicked into gear, it was clear it was on! The rest of the album’s first side – “Sweet Little Sister,” “Can’t Stand the Heartache,” “Piece of Me,” “18 & Life,” and “Rattlesnake Shake” – relentlessly followed.

Before going to “Side 2,” a turntable was actually wheeled out on stage, and the band even briefly segued into the theme song of “WKRP in Cincinnati” before Bach literally dropped the record’s needle to signify the start of “Youth Gone Wild.” Pandemonium quickly ensued, as that lead to two more of the album’s heavier tracks in the form of “Here I Am” and “Makin’ a Mess.” Things of course slowed down a bit for “I Remember You” before closing the album portion of the set out with “Midnight.”

Of course the band wasn’t quite finished yet, and came back for an encore of tracks from the Slave to the Grind album, including “Slave to the Grind,” “The Threat,” “In a Darkened Room,” “Monkey Business,” and even ending with the once-controversial “Get the Fuck Out.”

It was definitely a treat to hear so many songs that normally would not have been included in his set list, and about the only other thing Bach could’ve possibly done to make the night even more complete would have been invite his former Madam X bandmate and Vixen drummer Roxy Petrucci on the stage to jam “We Reserve the Right to Rock.” Still, I’ve seen Bach live multiple times on his own, and I’ve seen his former band Skid Row play without him as well. I can honestly say that watching Bach perform a full set of Skid Row music, with photos and videos of his former band being displayed the whole time on screens on all sides of the stage, was by far the best night of Skid Row music from start to finish I’ve ever witnessed.

Enforcer and Warbringer at The Haven Lounge on 10/12/19 – Words by Jesse Striewski/Photos by Brooke Striewski

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I’ve been going to metal and rock shows for nearly a quarter of a century now. In that span of time, I’ve attended as everything from the fan in the crowd, to the musician on stage (and for a brief time, was even the security behind the barricades). For over a decade now, my role at shows has largely been that of a music journalist (and when my wife is unavailable, an occasional photographer) reporting everything I see and hear. But at my age (and with having a bum leg), I tend to experience most shows on the sidelines these days (it makes it a lot easier for jotting down notes, anyhow). But last Saturday, October 12 at The Haven Lounge in Orlando (or is it Winter Park?), I broke my own rules, and exerted myself right in the middle of the action for the first time in I can’t even remember how long.

Perhaps it had something to do with the initial opening act, Orlando’s own Darkness by Design, whose immediate intensity (reminiscent of old school Slayer) caught the attention of the entire room, and demanded one to listen up instantly. Guitarist Marcos Mercado’s massive riffs were a definite highlight, making them a force to be reckoned with on stage.

Destructonomicon were next on the bill. I’ve caught them a time or two over the years, and judging by their performance this past weekend, they haven’t matured all that much since then (go figure, with a name like…Destructonomicon). Although they did initiate a decent response from the audience, their “tough guy” brand of crossover doesn’t quite do much for me these days.

Another local outfit I’ve seen a time or two over the years, Thicket, were up next. I’m not entirely sure how to place them. Part traditional thrash and part progressive metal, their lack of cohesion is somewhat of a strange mixture. Still, there was no denying they had the club amped up and ready for a night of more headbanging by the end of their set.

The band that got me through the door that night, Enforcer, were next to play. I’ve been a fan of theirs since another magazine I freelance for, New Noise, asked me to review their 2015 album, From Beyond. With their ability to skillfully mimic the sounds of such beloved ’80s thrash metal bands such as Megadeth (though without ripping anyone off), I was instantly hooked on these Swedish metalheads from the start, and have sought their entire catalog ever since. Prior to last Saturday’s show I had heard that some of the members would not be present for this tour, but had no idea only lead vocalist/guitarist/overall mastermind Olof Wilkstrand would be present from the band’s core lineup, along with touring musicians that included Skull Fist guitarist Jonny Nesta. Warbringer guitarist Chase Becker also filled in on bass, while Hellwitch drummer Brian Wilson rounded things out behind the drumset.

Still, I knew from the moment they hit the stage with “Destroyer” that this particular night would be different, and found myself making my way to the front of the stage to scream along with every lyric (that I could remember anyway) quickly. More crushing anthems like “Die For the Devil,” Searching For You,” “Undying Evil,” “From Beyond,” “Belles of Hades/Death Rides the Night,” ‘Zenith of the Black Sun,” and “Mesmerized by Fire,” followed with fury.

What came as an even bigger shock (other than how hard they played) was the fact they managed to represent every album of their career, including one of my personal favorites from the Diamonds album, “Live For the Night,” as well as “Scream of the Savage” from their lesser known 2008 debut album, Into the Night. After an epic rendition of “Take Me Out of This Nightmare,” the band came back for two more Diamonds-era tracks, “Katina” and Midnight Vice,” before finally calling it a night.

By the time they finished their set, there was no doubt that my wife/photographer and I were both in need of a reprieve before Warbringer hit the stage, and by the time we got back from grabbing some fresh air, the club was already packed again. I have to admit I don’t know Warbringer’s (who were the headliner on this night) material as well as Enforcer’s, but I did familiarize myself with some of their music beforehand, and recognized some of the tracks in their set such as “Remain Violent,” “Firepower Kills,” and “Severed Reality.” Their music is honestly a bit hit or miss for me, at times on the interesting side, while at other times extremely generic. One thing’s for sure, their intensity might have come close to matching Enforcer’s (who no doubt stole the show that night), but were far less superior in comparison.

And the end of the night, we even had the pleasure of meeting some of the members of Enforcer, including said front man Wikstrand and guitarist Nesta, who embodied the living “rock star” image without tarnishing it one bit.

-J.S.

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The Beautiful Bastards at OB’s Restaurant & Lounge on 9/7/19 By Jesse Striewski/Photo By Brooke Striewski

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It’s not often we feature a cover artist or band here at Rewind It Magazine. But when the group happens to consist of rock royalty such as former Brian Howe (Bad Company) guitarist Dean Aicher, former Skid Row/Slaughter drummer Timothy DiDuro, and former Pat Travers Band bassist Rick Navarro (who has also shared the stage with the likes of Steven Tyler and the late Eddie Money), we’ll make an exception for the likes of The Beautiful Bastards.

Immediately upon arriving at O.B’s in DeLand this past Saturday, September 7, one could here the unmistakable chords from a familiar Beatles song. After taking a seat at the bar, my assistant/photographer/wife and I were instantly greeted with a warm welcome from the friendly bar keep, and after just one quick look around, it was apparent we were in the right kind of establishment.

Some members of the crowd even danced as the band ripped through tracks like Free’s “All Right Now,” Pink Floyd’s “Have a Cigar,” Led Zepplin’s “Dancing Days,” The Who’s “Squeeze Box” and “Behind Blue Eyes,” The Beatles’ “Come Together,” and Aerosmith’s “Sweet Emotion” before taking a break. Unfortunately, parenting duties caused us to call it a night earlier than expected for us, and we were unable to hang around for the band’s next set afterwards. But still, it was the perfect excuse for a night out filled with classic rock music (even if it was only for a short time).

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Dio Returns at The Plaza Live in Orlando, FL on 6/1/19 – Words By Jesse Striewski/Photos By Brooke Striewski

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Ever since the Dio Returns tour had first been announced there’s been an abundance of backlash from some fans calling it a ‘cash grab’ (I’d almost guarantee most of those complaining are the same people who went to see Bohemian Rhapsody when it came out last year, too). You can write tours like this off as such (it should also be noted that some of the profits from the tour are allegedly going towards the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund), or you can look at them the way I do; tributes meant to keep the memories alive of legends who rightfully deserve it. Ronnie James Dio was one such icon who I grew up admiring dearly, and unfortunately I was never able to see him perform live before his passing in 2010. The Dio Returns tour gives all those who never saw him the chance to finally experience his music live (and the last time I can remember looking forward to a tour as much as this much was probably when I caught the original lineup of one of Ronnie’s former bands, Black Sabbath, back in 2004).

Essentially, the band itself is one of two current versions of the Dio band that has been going for nearly ten years now (the other being Last in Line, with Vivian Campbell and Vinnie Appice at the helm) called Dio Disciples. This version of the band (which features Dio alumni Craig Goldy, Simon Wright, and Scott Warren) has been performing for years with multiple singers in place of Ronnie, including ex-Judas Priest/Iced Earth vocalist Tim “Ripper” Owens, and former Lynch Mob singer Oni Logan, who were both there trading off vocal duties (along with live recordings of Ronnie when his hologram was present) when the band came through The Plaza Live in Orlando this past Saturday, June 1.

Jizzy Pearl’s current incarnation of Love/Hate opened the show, and I was actually looking forward to finally catching Pearl live as well after interviewing him for Rewind It Magazine just last year (I found it strange however that none of the material from Pearl’s recent album that I interviewed him for made it into the set list).  At this point, the club was still fairly empty, and the band received only a modest response. But still, they played with all their might on tracks like “Straightjacket,” “Tumbleweed,” “Spinning Wheel,” “Fuel to Run,” “Mary Jane,” and “Wasted in America.” A seemingly set up (and awkward) moment found the band being told to leave the stage before declaring they were doing one more song, which ended up being “Blackout in the Red Room.”

After Pearl’s set, there was a sort of calm before the storm as the crowd sat anxiously to finally see what awaited them (this was only the second night of the tour, after all). It was quickly revealed as Ronnie’s hologram made its introduction by way of “King of Rock and Roll.” From there, it was one amazing moment after another from beginning to end.

A pair of Sabbath-era classics in the form of “Mob Rules” and “Children of the Sea,” sung by Owens and Logan, respectively, followed before Ronnie’s image made its way on the screen again for the classic Dio tracks “The Last in Line” and “Holy Diver.” After Owens belted out one more Dio classic (“Stand Up and Shout”), the stage was cleared for a drum solo by Wright, which was a tribute of sorts to Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.

A tagged-team rendition of “Don’t Talk to Strangers” by Owens and Logan followed  before more Dio/Rainbow classics began making their way into the set, including “Rainbow in the Dark,” “Egypt (The Chains Are On),” “Gates of Babylon,” and “Invisible” (another duel effort from Owens and Logan). Goldy then treated the crowd to a guitar solo before a couple more Rainbow tracks (“Catch the Rainbow” and “Stargazer”) preceded an unforgettable version of Sabbath’s “Heaven and Hell” (which briefly segued into the classic “Man on the Silver Mountain”).

Owens and Logan then took the stage along with Ronnie’s hologram to close out the night on an epic note with “We Rock,” and finally (after a short reprieve) “Neon Knights.” The only thing I might have changed (other than include tracks like “Time to Burn” or anything off the Sacred Heart album in place of some of the other chosen tracks in the set, but that’s just my own personal taste!) would have been to market the tour itself a bit differently; even though the hologram does indeed play a prominent role, there’s so much more to the entire show than just that. Still, every person in attendance that night seemed to be in agreement of just how well-executed this show truly was.

After the show itself, my wife/photographer and I were extremely lucky to be invited backstage, where we were able to briefly meet and talk to every member of the band, as well as Dio’s own former wife, Wendy. It was apparent that this tour was a collective labor of love from all those involved, and the feelings resonating backstage were that of celebration, and triumph. And as far as all the closed-minded critics of the tour go, to quote Aesop; “The ignorant despise what is precious only because they cannot understand it.” I think if Ronnie were still here today, he would fully approve of what is being presented on stage in his honor right now.

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Queensryche and Fates Warning at The Plaza Live on 3/2/19 – Words By Jesse Striewski/Photos By Brooke Striewski

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Unlike other bands from their era simply running off nostalgia (Ratt, Quiet Riot, etc…), bands like Queensryche are still releasing more-than-respectful material, and not relying solely on their past. And while they may still be largely ignored by modern radio these days, bands from said era such as them (along with Iron Maiden and Megadeth, among others), are still just as strong as ever. After catching them live this past weekend for the second time, there’s no denying these bands are still able to pack a house.

Fates Warning have always been of mild interest to me (especially since Armored Saint/ex-Anthrax bassist Joey Vera first came aboard), so I was looking forward to actually seeing what they could do on stage when they opened the first night of this current tour. But for the most part, they focused a tad too heavily on their (not so) new album, 2016’s Theories of Flight, performing “From the Rooftops,” “Seven Stars,” and “The Light and Shade of Things.” The furthest the band even went in their own catalog was “Life in Still Water” from 1991. While it’s understandable they had limited time to work with (only able to squeeze in eight tracks) this is one case where it would have been nice if they dug just a little further back in time (at the very least 1988’s “Silent Cries” should have still found its way in the set list somewhere).

And finally, Queensryche took over. The last time my wife/photographer and I saw them live, they were still touring for their first album with current vocalist Todd La Torre in 2013. Since then, the band has released a couple of more albums, and were not swayed from playing material from any of them (despite knowing many likely still come to hear their Geoff Tate-era hits). One thing’s for sure, their stage/light show has definitely improved over time. However, it was somewhat disappointing to see original drummer Scott Rockenfield was not on board this time around, though Kamelot’s Casey Grillo filled in just fine.

Opening with “Blood of Levant,” the band continued with mostly newer tracks such as “I am I,” “Man the Machine,” and “Condition Human,”  but managed to throw one from their debut album, “N M 156” in there before finally breaking out with one of their signature “classics” (“Queen of the Reich”) six tracks in. “Selfish Lives,” “Open Road,” “Light-Years,” and “Eyes of the Stranger” all followed before the band took a quick reprieve.

It didn’t take long for the band to come back with a trio of their most well-known hits for their encore, including their biggest (and in my book, extremely overrated) power ballad “Silent Lucidity,” as well as “Jet City Woman,” and finally “Empire.” I say it all of the time; if ever you doubt the ability of a band that’s been around as long as Queensryche, wait to see them live before judging. These guys have been going strong since 1980, and it’s clear they don’t show any signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Bret Michaels and Lita Ford Live in Orlando on 11/3/18 Words By Jesse Striewski/Photo By Brooke Striewski

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Back in 2013, two kids who had been dating for a few months went to Orlando to quench their mutual thirst for ’80s rock by seeing Poison front man Bret Michaels live in concert. It was at that very show they realized they had finally found something special, and by the next weekend, they were engaged. Now married, the two make up not only a great husband and wife couple, but also a writer/photographer duo that occasionally team up to cover local concerts, such as the recent Bret Michaels show in Orlando this past November 3. This time around the two were there with a purpose, covering the show (which this time featured not one, but two ’80s icons as Lita Ford opened) with photo passes in hand. The result was truly a night to remember for all who were there.

Lita Ford has been on my personal list of artists to see live for some time now, and after several missed chances over the years, that wish was finally realized (and with the best seat in the house -the photo pit – nonetheless).

Immediately packing a punch with fan favorite “Gotta Let Go,” Lita indeed got the staged primed for a night full of great old school rock. And with only so much time to spare, Ms. Ford didn’t waste any of it, belting out classics like “Playing with fire,” “Hungry,” and “Back to the Cave,” before rounding things out with her monster hits “Close my Eyes Forever,” and of course, “Kiss Me Deadly.”

And finally, Bret Michaels took over the stage, getting the party started appropriately with the classic “Talk Dirty to Me.” Michaels wasted no time, and quickly followed up with “Ride the Wind” before going into a cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” that the crowd ate up completely.

From there on out, it was one Poison hit after another; their version of “Your Mama Don’t Dance,” followed by “Something to Believe In,” “Unskinny Bop,” “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” and of course, the party anthem Nothin’ But a Good Time.” Although his set may have been cut slightly shorter this time due to a shared bill, the energy was still undeniable. It’s hard to imagine anyone in attendance that night went home unsatisfied.

Be sure to check back for full photo galleries of the show coming soon.