I caught Skid Row on their United World Rebellion tour this month. The aim of this tour, which was their fourth visit to the UK in eighteen months, was to play in venues and places they haven’t played before which included some venues I have been to and love, The Tivoli in Buckley, Queens Hall, Nuneaton and the venue I went to Warehouse 23 in Wakefield, West Yorkshire. Support on this tour came from The Last Vegas, a band I saw at The Snooty Fox in Wakefield earlier this year and Sister, a Swedish band who I had heard good things about but never seen before.
First up came The Last Vegas (TLV), a good looking six piece from Chicago, although Johnny Wator doesn’t tour so the touring band is a five piece. Nathan Arling on drums came on first and then the rest of the band came on to a drum beat intro. Charismatic front man Chad Cherry wearing a fabulous outfit from his own clothing range put his hand over his eyes and looked out over the audience and said Come on, Come With Me . The Snooty is a smaller stage so the guys had more room to move around but no bars to hang from! Brian on guitar managed some awesome jumps and spins and Nathan didn’t have his tremendous furry drum kit tonight but he still managed to pelt the drums! We’re The Last Vegas from Chicago, Illinois and we’re going to take you to The Other Side with a Spencer Davis Group Gimme Some Loving vibe came next. A bit of Loose Lips then Whatever Gets You Off probably my favourite TLV song and one which would make a great theme tune to Fifty Shades of Grey and has a great raunchy video I can’t quite make out the set list but I’m fairly sure it was Evil Eyes next, with a Sympathy For the Devil by The Rolling Stones flavour. This was a good song to bounce to and the floor in front of the stage was vibrating.
Chad asked ‘Are you guys ready for Sister?’ the response was a resounding yes and then ‘What about my buddies, Skid Row?’ an even louder yes! You and Me a very sexy song followed and Chad said ‘Let’s all put our hands together’ and the audience were clapping in time to Nathan’s bass drum beat. Devil in You then ‘Shall we do one more?’ was answered in the affirmative but just to confirm Chad asked again ‘Shall we do one more?’ and the response was a categoric ‘Yes’ and so came the last song from The Last Vegas announced by ‘My name is Chad Cherry and we are fucking bad’the song I’m Bad which had Danny spinning, Chad jumping and Nathan bashing those skins. The last words from The Last Vegas ‘Thank you all so much. We’re The Last Vegas we’ll see you all on the other side’ Having been to the UK twice this year let’s hope they have a taste for it and make it over to the other side of the world at least once next year!
Chad Cherry – Vocals
Adam Arling – Guitar
Johnny Wator – Guitar (not on tour)
Bryan Wilkinson – Guitar
Danny Smash – Bass
Nathan Arling – Drums
A military style beat heralded the arrival of Sister, a young four piece from Stockholm, Sweden. Rikki with his bass held aloft and Tim stood with their backs to us then a masked Jamie came on and shouted ‘Wakefield, England. Ra ra ra!’ and then the ferocity that is a Sister gig commenced, these guys play hard and fast and hit you like a ton of bricks! Mid song Jamie said ‘Wakefield let me hear you’ which resulted in some loud yells and at the end the mask came off and he said ‘I recognise a lot of faces here, it’s so damn good to see you again. The next track is title track off our new album Disguised Vultures’ There was a lot of hair flying around on that stage and Jamie was banging his head with his hand at one point. I didn’t manage to get hold of a set list but I picked up a bit of Extreme’s Get The Funk Out in one song and some Motorhead fast drumming in several and despite the speed Carl still managed to do a bit of a majorette style baton (make that drum stick) twirling. Jamie yelled ‘Make some noise for The Last Vegas’ then ‘Now I want you all to raise your glasses for the one and only Skid ‘Fucking’ Row’ and finally ‘Make some noise for us. We are Sister this one is called Sick‘ which had some super fast drumming. Jamie, who had left the stage, came back on spinning around manically held his arms up, then announced ‘I’m sick like the rest of you’ before asking ‘Do you want some more? Are you sure?’ then he raised his bottle of water aloft took a long swig and then said ‘Are you ready for the last song? We are Sister from Sweden and right now I feel just perfect’ and Sister finished with a fast, aggressive number with some great riffs then ‘Fuck you Wakefield. We are Sister from Sweden. Thank you. Good Night’ and the guitarists threw a few plectrums out into the audience. A great set from the young Swedes and by now everyone was well and truly warmed up ready for Skid Row!
Jamie – Vocals
Rikki – Bass
Tim – Guitar
Cari – Drums
PlanetMosh Interview with Rikki and Jamie: https://planetmosh.com/sister-rikki-and-jamie-interview-october-2014/
Hey Ho Let’s Go by The Ramones was the last song played before the lights dimmed a siren blared, spot lights spun and on came Skid Row with front man Johnny Solinger tapping his chest with his mic and both he and founder member Rachel Bolan sporting mirrored aviator style shades. Then Hey Ho and Let’s Go got Skid Row’s first ever show in Wakefield underway! Piece of Me came next and Johnny was entertaining to watch, with facial expressions and actions to match the words such as doing a lasso action for ’round and around and around we go’ and he managed a few epic screams along the way. After some wild applause Johnny said ‘Hello Wakefield. How are you doing tonight? We’re Skid Row. We’re here for one reason only. To rip your faces off’ and he also said there would be a lot of old school so he hoped we were ready to rock n roll.
This is a maturer band than when I first saw them in the early 1990’s. All dressed in black t-shirts and still with plenty of hair but not blown quite as big as back then. Rachel still has his customary nose chain in though. Plenty of gun action came from Johnny in the next two songs Give it the Gun and Big Guns and Scotti was another one with some great gargoyle facial expression.
Crowd pleaser 18 and Life had most of the audience waving their arms from side to side in time to the beat and Johnny came to the front of the stage and was grabbing peoples’ hands and singing to members of the audience. Great when bands get up close to the fans because I’m sure those who he touched or sang to will be talking about it for weeks, months or even years. Johnny advised ‘We’re so happy to be back in England you don’t know’ he said it was the third time they have been over this year and someone had advised them ‘You’ve got to go Wakefield! It Rocks’ He said there had been eighty thousand at Download. Not quite as many tonight then, I think the capacity at Warehouse 23 is about seven hundred. He then said we were all a bunch of rebels and rock ‘n’ rollers have got to stick together ‘We are the united world rebellion and you are the kings of demolition’ the latter being the next song Kings of Demolition which has some fantastic riffage and bullet drums even the singing had a bullet tone and the song ended with a scream. Then ‘Wakefield we started here’ was the introduction to the very fast Riot Act Johnny then asked ‘Remember when bands were like, no cameras. Now look at you’ and mimed some camera actions. (Back in the early days there weren’t the digital cameras and phones of today, so taking a picture at a gig was pot luck, limited numbers on a film and you were lucky if any turned out. Now you can take hundreds and it doesn’t matter if they don’t turn out).
Johnny told us that the band Skid Row has always been about the power of live performance. Two guitars, one bass, one drum kit. ‘What you see is what you get’ Iron Maiden got a mention and a very short burst of some Iron Maiden before another fast Skid Row song, Makin a Mess with it’s screaming riffs which led straight into Darkened Room and Johnny asked ‘Show me those fists’ which saw lots of fist pumping action ‘You make it so much fun for us. I can’t tell you’ He then introduced bass player Rachel Bolan, who has been there from day one, and asked us to ‘Make as much noise as you can’ Johnny went off stage leaving Rachel at the front of stage, in the spotlight. Founder member Rachel then told us that this was Skid Row’s first time in Wakefield in twenty-five years and that this tour was for the band to go to places they haven’t been before but he said they’ll come back. He dedicated the next song to Joey, Dee Dee and Tommy and he took to the mic to sing a cover of that great Ramones classic Psycho Therapy Johnny came back on stage with a black hat on, which he promptly took off, and sporting a change of t-shirt. This one emblazoned with the words ‘Kum & Go’ which was apt as he said ‘Bands come and go’ ‘We’re lucky to have a couple of young bands on tour with us’ and whilst ‘Bands come and go songs last forever’ so here was a forever song I Remember After that he asked if we would mind if they moved over here because they wouldn’t have to drink Bud they could have Old Speckled Hen every day.
Johnny then said ‘Say Hello to Snake Sabo’ (who founded the band with Rachel back in 1986) Snake held a bottle of beer aloft and looked bemused, as it appeared to be Bud. He said he’d drink whatever you gave him. Snake then added ‘We have a new record out. If it wasn’t for you guys we wouldn’t be able to make music. We are humbled and thank you’ Although the next song Monkey Business was a Skid Row classic not a new one and it was certainly popular with the audience getting a mosh pit going and ending the main set on a high.
The band went off to shouts for more ‘Skid Row, Skid Row, Skid Row’ and it wasn’t too long before they came back on with Johnny announcing ‘Don’t think we’re going to leave you!’ A song from the new album ‘Rise of the Damnation Army -United World Rebellion: Chapter Two’ We Are The Damned was the first of five encore songs. Next came a hard rocking cover of Queen’s We Will Rock You ‘You got time for a couple more?’ asked Johnny, and of course we had, he then noticed that Rachel had his back to us fixing his guitar strings, his unsympathetic reaction to that being ‘You got broken strings? Oh well!’ The super fast Slave to the Grind got a veritable mosh pit going and Johnny mimed a noose round his neck when he sang ‘The noose gets tighter around my throat’ then Johnny yelled ‘Have you had a good time?’ and amongst yeahs were shouts of ‘Youth Gone Wild’ and Johnny said ‘We were going to do that, then thought fuck it. Get the Fuck Out’ which got the mosh pit going wild, although the youths of yesteryear are now the middle aged gone wild! Johnny said ‘It really is the sweetest love song ever written, imagine you just made love. That was great baby. Now get the fuck out’ but Skid Row didn’t get the fuck out just yet, the former wild children got what they had requested the final song being Youth Gone Wild which had some brilliant riffs from Snake and recevied some wild applause. They said they’d come back to Wakefield and, after the show tonight I and, no doubt, the majority of the audience, hope they don’t leave it twenty-five years until next time!
They finished the UK leg of this tour and are now over in Europe see here for dates and details of VIP Packages.
Piece of Me
Give it the Gun
18 & Life
Kings of Demolition
Makin a Mess
Thick is the Skin
Psycho Therapy (Ramones Cover)
I Remember You
We are the Damned
We Will Rock You (Queen cover)
Slave to the Grind
Get the Fuck Out
Youth Gone Wild
Johnny Solinger (vocals)
Scotti Hill (guitar)
Rachel Bolan (bass)
Snake Sabo (guitar)
Rob Hammersmith (drums)
NOTE – Review by Louise Swift. Official Photos for PlanetMosh by Richard Lindley (a couple used to illustrate the review by Louise Swift)[flickrapi user=”planet mosh” get=”photoset” id=”72157648565893617″ size=”z” count=”100″]