Skid Row/Ted Nugent/ KISS - Jones Beach June 9th 2000
Hi everyone I know these shows have taken place last month but I finally got around to write my take on the 3 shows I saw at Jones Beach & the 2 at the Meadowlands. I would've just let it go and not have submitted these but something very special happened to me and I really wanted to share my whole experience with all of you who read Asylum of a daily basis. I hope you all enjoy what I've put together for you. To keep the event separate I've written 2 parts the 1st just being a review of Jones Beach & the 2nd being the Meadowlands. I'll be back shortly with another review shortly on my column KISS Video Spotlight soon.Thanks and enjoy! Byron
The ride up to Jones Beach was filled with traffic, detours, and other interesting adventurous things that I wont bore you all with. We arrived at about 4:30 hung out with fans, played football, ate and cranked KISS in the parking lot like all fans. Finally at 6:50 we decided to venture into the arena to check out the return of Skid Row. We arrived in our seat during the 3rd song but me being a quick-thinker, I grabbed my marker and paper from my pockets and while walking into the complex I scribbled down the first 2 songs. On the way to our seats my friend's Blaine, Dina & I passed Tommy There walking around looking for good looking, large upper mammary-glanded females for Uncle Gene to stare at in the front row. Tommy took over for last year's scout, Spiro. Skid Row:
Well as some people have said Skid Row was not really that good; I have to agree sadly. I was hoping for the return of the high & mighty Skid Row of the late 80's early 90's instead we got A watered down version of this once great rock band. Johnny Sollenger is in a tough position replacing a singer who was loved in the band. However, he lacked the charisma, stage presence and vocal abilities of Bach. Don't get me wrong he can belt out all those high notes and he seems to have a good voice but folks, it's not even close. I have to agree with Sebastian, Skid Row did not reform Ozone Monday got a better name. Drummer Charlie Mills, who's last notable job was as the drummer for Dee Snider's S.M.F. band. They did all Twisted Sister songs, so basically Charlie's back in a cover band in a sense. He's a good drummer but much more a double-bass player than Rob Affuso is. Some songs were just over played which is my opinion as a drummer but he was solid. I will give them the benefit of the doubt that maybe it was a bad night and I'm willing to give them another look. I can properly judge him and not compare him to his predecessor when I hear new material from them. There wasn't a whole lot of talking or anything major to report except I was glad when the half-hour was done. I have to wonder if guys in the 30's feel odd singing "Youth Gone Wild"
SKID ROW SET LIST
PIECE OF ME
MAKIN A MESS
18 & LIFE
I REMEMBER YOU
YOUTH GONE WILD
Well, what can you say, he is one sick mother. I had no clue what to expect even though I was warned by my friend Al, (a Nugent fanatic), said that Ted is unlike any other performer, I now know what he meant. Only knowing a handful of songs of his I said to myself, "OK let's see what all the hype is about" Ted comes out to a line from the movie Blazing Saddles, where the new sheriff first arrives. For those of you not familiar with the part or with the movie, it's set back in the slavery days in an all white town and the Governor (Mel Brooks) appoints a black man as Sheriff. For those playing along the line goes something like this, (now mind you I'm paraphrasing.) "We'd like to extend a laurel and hearty handshake to our new ni**er" and jumps on the stage with both arms extended. Which had the crowd in hysterics, not that everyone was racists, but obviously fans of the movie and shocked that Ted came out to that. It was definitely not expected and a real attention getter to say the least. It wasn't the first time Ted made some people look in shock though. Ted has a song called "Kiss My Ass" and before he plays the song he goes off on a very political rap about many figures in New York & New Jersey. Ted said, "If Rev Al Sharpton is a reverend than he's the fuckin Dahlia Lama" Janet Reno, & the Mayor of NY were also lambasted by the Motor City Madman. Ted was exactly as I heard and imagined high-paced maniac armed with a very tight band, great songs and enough controversial quotes & observations to make people squirm, laugh & get very pissed off, a mark of a great performer in my eyes. He did great considering his band was a trio, he sounded like a full band his sound was loud & very full. It was a great appetizer for the main course KISS.
NUGENT SET LIST
DOG EAT DOG
WANG DANG SWEET POONTANG
FREE FOR ALL
KISS MY ASS (real crowd pleaser)
CAT SCRATCH FEVER
GREAT WHITE BUFFALO
Kiss's show started off with a blunder of sorts, as The Who's "Wont Get Fooled Again" played, the massive KISS curtain usually drops on cue during a certain part of the song, well this evening it got stuck on the lighting rig. We were treated to watching a crewmember trying to frantically free the curtain before the song ended which luckily he did accomplish. Kiss hit the stage at approximately 9:10 opening with Detroit Rock City, as many of you now know, the intro of the show was changed. The 10 minutes movie of the history of the band was dropped after a few shows (a mistake in my opinion) and the band's intro was altered. The boys now come down playing DRC Peter on his riser and Ace, Paul & Gene on the platform, which is the coolest intro I've seen since 1990's Hot In The Shade tour. I have to say I was slightly upset with the song list but I understand KISS has a show perfected for maximum impact. I'd hope though before it's all over they'd add something different. I mean it is the "Farewell Tour" and Strutter is no where to be found just for example. Energy was high as the band really seemed psyches to play home again for this show and it was a very cool vibe in the crowd. Highlights for me were the footage played behind the boys during "Do You Love Me" which actually gave me a warm fuzzy inside as well as a nice offering of the 80's songs, which were done justice. There still are the mainstays of the show however as always such as, Gene & Paul flying, Peter's riser going up in the air, as well as the blood & the fire, all of which we've grown accustomed too. Ace's solo had the most changes though, during his solo he usually does a mini 3-song medley. Tonight was Parasite (going up to the first verse riff), Hard Times, and of course NY Groove for the hometown crowd. (Snowblind is usually the 3rd song but this is NY) The part where Ace shoots the rockets is changed slightly too now he shoot at 2 balloons rigged with the explosives and yes the light still drops after the 2nd rocket in case you were wondering. Peter now does a mini-solo during 100,000 Years, which is nice. I'd like to see the band add that to Alive 4 since it hasn't been released yet so Peter has a shining moment on the disc since he couldn't play a solo when that was recorded due to his hands killing him. He's healed enough to play a little bit and he really puts his all into that little time he solos. The only change for Paul was when it came time to fly, he did so but unlike any other shows, he stayed in the crowd for ALL of Love Gun and his Black Diamond intro. (Which included a piece of I Still Love You) Another funny moment was Peter after Beth said, "It's great to be home We love you Long Beach" confusing California for NY. So Peter made a blunder with Long Island but it made many fans chuckle in the audience. I thought maybe Peter was listening to Iron Maiden before the show where Bruce says "Scream for me Long Beach" on the Live After Death CD. All in all it was a great show and a good send off for this line-up. The Meadowlands was coming up in a few weeks so I was anticipating seeing the band in two different spots one night from the floor & one from 1st tier to really get a different perspective of the show & stage. I have to say now looking back I was not expecting what was about to happen in the next few weeks in New Jerseyää.
KISS SET LIST
DETROIT ROCK CITY
SHOUT IT OUT LOUD
I LOVE IT LOUD
DO YOU LOVE ME
CALLING DR. LOVE
HEAVEN'S ON FIRE
LET ME GO ROCK & ROLL
2,000 MAN (WITH ACE SOLO)
LICK IT UP
GOD OF THUNDER
100,000 YEARS (WITH PETER'S SOLO)
BLACK DIAMOND (WITH A PART OF I STILL LOVE YOU)
ROCK & ROLL ALL NIGHT
Now as promised here is part two of my reviews for all to read. This really is something not many fans get to do Now mind you this is not to brag or boast I'm won't ever do that but to take you all with me on a trip where I've never been and hopefully you will feel or comprehend what I went through these 2 nights in New Jersey. I only hope someday you all could get a chance to do this and fell what I felt
Before going any further I need to say something very important and make something well-known. I owe all my memories and the feelings I felt that night to Eric Carr's family especially his sister Loretta, without them the 3-year-old who fell in love with KISS could not have accomplished his lifelong dream. I'm forever grateful to them for these 2 opportunities I was granted and for their continued kindness & love they have shown me. Just like Eric they are the most giving people in the world and I wanted to publicly thank them and give them the respect they so richly deserve.
Now having seen 3 shows in June. Jones Beach on the 9th & these 2 shows at the Meadowlands, I have to say these were the tightest I've seen them play and also in the best spirits I'd guess the hometown vibe played into effect here.
Now the real reason these shows were unbelievably enjoyable was I was given a gift of a lifetime. Most people know that I work closely with Eric Carr's family on projects and I even run the official Eric mailing list for them to announce all things currently happening for Eric. I was warned there was a slight chance that Loretta, Eric's sister might get us backstage, well, I was shocked that evening and the next evening to say the least.
I wasn't in a good mood coming to the show due to getting stuck with a ticket. I had floor seats 30 rows from the stage and like on the Psycho Circus tour I wanted to take my parents to the show, however my father couldn't make the show and I couldn't find a person to take the spare ticket. I get into the arena and Ted came onstage so I started to feel a little more into the show how could you not with Uncle Ted onstage.
Now here's the kicker another person who helps out Eric's family with me came up to me during Ted's song "Wang Dang, Sweet Poontang" and says "C'mon Byron Let's Go" so I said "What? Let's go where?" with that she takes out a laminate, dangles it in my face and gives it to me. Well to say my heart started pounding is an understatement. I can liken it to Charlie being given the golden ticket in the movie Willy Wonka.I don't remember the whole walk to the backstage area; I must've been floating there. I arrive backstage and meet Loretta & Peter's wife Gigi. Gigi is the most down to earth and one of the sweetest people I've ever met. Loretta tells me Peter was by already and talked to them but he'd be back later. Loretta proceeds to tell me we are on Peter's guest list and our passes allow us anywhere & everywhere. After getting over the shock of seeing people I've only read about such as Paul's mom & dad. Gene's mom, Ace's daughter and all the KISS staff Tommy Thayer, Spiro Papadatos, (SP?) & Doc Mcghee, I retreated to Peter's hospitality room. After regaining my senses I look around the room to see members of Peter & Gigiås family, three tubs with soda & Coors Light for the guests.
On the door in Peter's room was a list of songs Peter wants played before he goes on which consists of oldies & Doo Wop songs from the 50's & 60's and a sign stuck on the wall that said, Kiss Show # 65. I walked out and bumped into former Skid Row drummer Rob Affuso & Scotti Hill, Skid Row's guitar player. I walk past the 2nd of 3 curtains backstage and enter the Ted Nugent section and I met up with Loretta & Carol Kaye who were talking to Gigi, next thing I know Peter comes out and joins us. For those who never experienced this best way I could describe this was I didn't believe it was him and just a tribute band member but after hearing that voice I knew this was the real cat man. Loretta introduced me to Peter and we shook hands and said hello. Peter easily was the most down to earth & sweetest member of the band. He truly is happy to see & meet people and realizes that we the fans are the ones who made this life possible and treats people with so much respect you'd think we were the stars and he was the fan.
I walk through the 3rd curtain with Loretta and Paul's dad stopped us. Mr. Eisen also was very sociable and we all talked and remembered how Eric Carr was when he 1st joined the band and we reminisced about him. Mr. Eisen said he missed Eric very much and blessed Loretta for everything she & her family has done to keep his memory alive. As we are talking Loretta went to talk to Carol Kaye & I was talking some more to Paul's dad when something made me look up.
Well what I saw I was not prepared to see, I look up and I'm now staring into a very hairy chest, I slowly move my head up and it's Paul Stanley. Paul came over to say hello to his father & I stick my hand out and say hello to Paul, he shakes my hand and says to me "Hey thanks so much for coming, I hope you enjoy the show tonight." YOU hope I enjoy the show? This was Paul Stanley telling ME not 15,000 people this. Well elevate me now from cloud 9 to cloud 10. LOL!!
Next Gene & Ace walk out I didn't get to meet them per se but I waived to them and they waived back, which was cool enough for me. Anymore events like with Paul & Peter, they would've had to call an ambulance for me to revive me, can anyone say Dr. Love? LOL! Paul, Peter & Gene however did come into Peter's room before they went on so I did pat Gene on his armor as he was tap dancing in his monster boots, which was a very funny site to behold. I only wish I had a camera myself so I could've gotten pictures with them but I obeyed the ticket request of "No Cameras" and "No Video". I AM A DUMMY!!!
I found out later Lori (the girl with us) had a camera, so after KISS went on I stayed back there talking to Ed Trunk, a DJ on WNEW in New York, as well as Dave Streicher who has worked on some KISS projects. Dave was there to see Nugent's people so I told him I wanted to try & get a picture with Ted so Dave went & asked but Ted's manager was a real bastard and wouldn't get Ted for us.
Ted was meeting with his record company, now I understand this was important but to take 3 minutes from your time to take a photo and sign an autograph wouldn't have killed Ted but I don't blame Ted but his "manager" so what can you do so I digress LOL.
I did however mange to get a photo with Tommy Aldridge, being a drummer this was a very cool moment for me since I've admired him because of his drumming with Ozzy Osbourne & Whitesnake just to mention a few bands he has played with.
Dave took the photo for me with Tommy so if you happen to be reading this Thanks Dave!! After that I went back to my mom and we watched the rest of the KISS show together and had a ball.
When Paul flew out for Love Gun, he literally was 10 chairs from us and he turned towards us and waived to the crowd in our direction. I felt like he was waving at us even though I know that 20,000 other people were in the arena it didn't matter I had blocked them all out. It was the most amazing feeling in the world after being a fan since 1977 to be that close to them and was a lifelong dream.
I also was privileged to go backstage the 2nd night and was talking with Ace's daughter, Monique and a few of her friends. Guys let me tell you, she's a knockout in person. It was very surreal cause I don't think she knew I was a fan and if she did she didn't care and talked with me like I was a friend and was equally as sweet as Peter's wife.
I hope I've somehow let you into my personal world and shared with you all my emotions that rushed through my body that evening.