The Beautiful Bastards at The Alley in Sanford, FL on 11/28/20 Words By Jesse Striewski/Photos By Brooke Striewski

The third and final show Rewind It Magazine made an appearance for this past Saturday, November 28, was none other than local cover act, The Beautiful Bastards. It was the only fitting ending to an already epic evening in Sanford that began with a Tiffany show at Buster’s Bistro in downtown, was bridged by an outdoor concert from The Original Wailers at Executive Cigar, before finally finishing things up at The Alley.

As some of you may recall, we have covered shows from The Beautiful Bastards in the past, as well as even interviewed drummer Timothy DiDuro (formerly of Skid Row/Slaughter/the Vince Neil band) earlier this year. On this particular night, the band – which is of course rounded out by the talents of vocalist/bassist Rick Navarro (formerly of the Pat Travers Band) and guitarist Dean Aicher (formerly of ex-Bad Company singer Brian Howe’s solo band), were once again firing on all cylinders.

Upon arrival, the boys were just closing out their first set with a cover of the Queens of Stone Ages’ “No One Knows” before taking a breather. We were able to briefly catch up with a couple of the guys (Tim and Rick) from the band during the intermission, and they both seemed as pumped up as ever to be out playing live again during these strange times. But the absolute icing on the cake came just minutes after when, my wife/photographer, Brooke, pointed out that none other than Tiffany herself was in the bar as well – and seated right behind us! It was an absolute thrill to finally meet her, and for the night to come full circle in such a way.

After the excitement, the band returned to the stage with a mammoth version of Led Zepplin’s “Whole Lotta Love,” before launching into a fury of classic rock numbers that also included Pink Floyd’s “Have a Cigar,” The Who’s Behind Blue Eyes,” Alice in Chains’ “Nutshell,” The Beatles’ “Helter Skeltor,” “I Saw Her Standing There,” and “I Wanna Hold Your Hand,” The Monkees’ “I’m a Believer,” The Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go,” and Violent Femmes’ “Blister in the Sun,” before finally ending things with a raucous version of Wild Cherry’s “Play That Funky Music.”

After eight months since last covering a live event (Overkill at the House of Blues in Orlando last March), Saturday’s trio of shows was a much-needed jolt back into the music scene that was without a doubt one for the books. And if you haven’t already caught the ‘Bastards live for yourselves, be sure to check the band’s FB/social media sites for show dates near you!

The Original Wailers at Executive Cigar in Sanford, FL on 11/28/20 Words By Jesse Striewski/Photos By Brooke Striewski

This past Saturday, November 28, was one of those rare nights full of unpredictable moments and chance encounters. Eight months since Rewind It Magazine covered our last live event (before the world was stopped in its tracks by the pandemic), we were able to amazingly cover three shows in one single night, with reggae legends The Original Wailers sandwiched in the middle.

Along with my wife/photographer Brooke and a close friend (Kurt), I was already in downtown Sanford watching ’80s bombshell Tiffany play when someone mentioned The Original Wailers were also playing nearby for the one year anniversary show at Executive Cigar. I knew I could not pass up the chance to see the band behind such classics as “Could You Be Loved,” “Three Little Birds,” and of course, “No Woman, No Cry,” live (my beloved dog of 15 years, Kaya, was even named after a Bob Marley and the Wailers song). So the minute Tiffany finished her set, we were on our way to catch them play.

The second we arrived, we could instantly hear the chords to the classic Marley/Tosh penned-anthem, “Get Up, Stand Up,” and I knew we had made the right choice to make the short trek to see them. The crowd danced and sang along with joy as they continued with “Buffalo Soldier” before closing the night out with “Exodus.” Immediately after their set, we were even able to briefly meet and converse with frontman Chet Samuel, who seemed ecstatic to be there.

Although their name might be slightly confusing to some (guitarist Al Anderson is actually the only member from Bob Marley and the Wailers here, with his association with them going as far back as 1974), it is still no doubt a thrill hearing these songs, which are nearly as embedded in our minds and culture as the music of The Beatles or The Rolling Stones, performed live in some capacity; catch them for yourselves if you’re ever given the chance.

Tiffany at Buster’s Bistro in Sanford, FL on 11/28/20 Words By Jesse Striewski/Photos By Brooke Striewski

I was honestly not expecting to write another show review for the remainder of 2020, let alone actually go see not one, not even two, but THREE live shows in one night. But that’s exactly what happened this past Saturday, November 28 in Sanford, FL, starting with the lovely ’80s pop princess, Tiffany.

While she will always be known for her perfection of the ’80s mall tour, a Tiffany show in 2020 looks slightly different than it would have in say, 1988. Armed with only a microphone and her guitarist, Mark Alberici, by her side on the acoustic, Tiffany’s set was perhaps more akin to a mid-’90s Alanis Morissette set than would be expected from a former ’80s darling. Tracks like “Waste of Time,” “Beautiful,” and “King of Lies” were all actually quite well written and eye-opening, though unfortunately largely ignored by the rest of the crowd at Buster’s Bistro, who it was apparent had only come to drink and hear one song.

Of course, when Tiffany closed out the night with what will always remain her most well-known hit, 1987’s “I Think We’re Alone Now,” the place went wild, with dancing and sing-a-longs as far as the eye could see in every direction. It was a surreal, fun moment for everyone, though the crowd could’ve maintained the same respect throughout the duration of her entire set (though I know that would be asking too much from most people these days).

As previously noted, our evening did not end there; after leaving Buster’s Bistro, we were able to catch both The Original Wailers, and The Beautiful Bastards, who were also playing shows that very same night, all within walking distance from each other (and of course, more reviews will be coming shortly for those as well!). But our time with Tiffany was not over yet; while sitting inside watching the last band of the night play, I turned around to see none other than Tiffany herself sitting behind me watching the show! It was as surreal a moment as ever, getting to briefly meet this pop star, who I can specifically remember looking at on the cover of my older sister’s cassette tape and crushing on when I was just a kid. Thank you for one incredibly unforgettable night, Tiffany.

You can catch Tiffany live again this week from December 2-4 at the Beach Front Grille in Flagler Beach.

Overkill/ Exhorder/ Hydraform at House of Blues Orlando on 3/10/20 Words and Photos By Jesse Striewski

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There’s times when going to a metal show can seem like a tedious affair, often being subjected to three, four, sometimes maybe even five opening acts you couldn’t care less about seeing before finally reaching the headlining act you came to see. Last Tuesday night’s show at the House of Blues in Orlando was by far the exception, where each band on the bill was worth their weight in their own respective rights, as Overkill, Exhorder, and Hydraform stormed through the H.O.B. with as much fury humanly possible (and allowed) in Disney Springs. Concert goers had other options that night in central, FL as well; just down the I-4 corridor, pop star Billie Ellish was playing at the Amway Center. But the dedicated metal maniacs of the region showed up in droves to support the music they love.

Colorado-based newcomers Hydraform were first up on the bill, and immediately I was reminded of Queensryche (albeit a heavier version of them). I only caught about half of their set (admittedly, I had arrived fashionably late), so I can’t really give a full, fair assessment of their set, though what I did catch seemed like a tight progressive rock band with a promising future.

Exhorder were up next, and I have to admit, my knowledge of their catolog prior to the show didn’t go past a handful of songs.  The crowd definitely seemed to be into the New Orleans-based grove rockers as they trudged through the likes of “Slaughter in the Vatican,” “(Cadence Of) The Dirge,” “Legions of Death,” “Hallowed Sound,” and “Desecrator.” Also of interest worth noting; lead vocalist/band founder Kyle Thomas is also doing double-duty as the current front man for classic doom metalheads Trouble, and current bassist Jason Viebrooks did also time in the band Grip Inc.

And finally, the mighty Overkill took over. I’ve seen many bands from my home state of New Jersey (The Misfits, Skid Row, etc…), but for whatever reason, Overkill has escaped my radar up until now (although they were on the same bill as Megadeth the first time I saw them in 2006, but missed their entire set, again due to arriving late). I always knew we were destined to cross paths eventually; not only did we both emerge out of the gutters of NJ, but we were each born around the same time (with Overkill beating me by just a year, forming in 1980). At one point, lead vocalist Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth even asked the audience who was from NJ, then proceeded to jokingly taunt the crowd with both fists in the air, claiming “I’ll take all of you motherfuckers on!”

The band did not disappoint. Neither did they rely on only their ‘classic’ material, as they kicked off their set with a hard-hitter, “Last Man Standing,” off their latest studio album Wings of War.  Another semi-recent number, “Electric Rattlesnake, followed, before the band packed a 1-2 punch that included “Hello From the Gutter” and “Elimination.” From then on, it was a mix of old and new tracks alike (some obviously more effective than others), including “Bring me the Night,” “Head of a Pin,” “Necroshine,” “Under One,” “Bastard Nation,” and “Mean, Green, Killing Machine.”

A short bass/drum solo lead up to an epic, nearly 10-minute rendition of the 1985 classic “Feel the Fire” (arguably the best performance of the night) before closing things out with “Ironbound.” There was no doubt the band held the stage captive that night; core members Ellsworth and bassist D.D. Verni (the band’s two remaining original members) have held complete control of their vision for over four decades now, and showed absolutely no signs of slowing dow.

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

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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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