Motorhead, Dio, Iron Maiden, Sheryl Crow, The Goo Goo Dolls, and Bon Jovi

Chris Puzak risks his “indie street cred” but gives a great review for last Thursday’s Motorhead, Dio, Iron Maiden show for Blogathon.

I was there too. We missed an opportunity to hang out it seems! Let me share my thoughts on a great night.

I’ve never seen Motorhead before, but knew a few songs from friends. Like Chris, songs I’ve heard from them always sounded kinda the same. Bad sound during the set emphasized this impression. But man – they had power. Tons and tons and tons of driving power. Lemmy is as much a grandfather to metal as Ozzy. You can hear Motorhead’s influence in so many bands – the genre simply wouldn’t have been the same without them. I guess it’s around 20 years late – but it’s time to buy some CDs 🙂 I bow my head in shame.

Dio put on a terrific show. He always does. Like Ozzy, he picks a talented band to take on tour and this night was no different, featuring “Dream Evil” guitarist Craig Goldy. The band had chemistry. They were tight, their sound was balanced, Dio’s vocals were soaring and the crowd enjoyed every minute.

Iron Maiden has always been one of my favorites to see, but something was wrong. The bass overwhelmed everything. I realize to some Steve Harris practically defines Maiden’s sound, but I’ve never heard him mixed so loud as to drown out Bruce Dickenson, or their triple guitar team of Dave Murray, Adrian Smith, and Janick Gers. Maybe it was the conservative set list. No surprises in it except for the missing “Wasted Years”. That was a disappointment. In any case, it was particularly fun listening to Bruce rip into Metallica, oh so subtly, when he urged the crowd to tape the show and trade it on the net.

When I was a kid these three bands were very much considered “underground”. No way would you hear them on the radio. You kept up with news via fanzines or word of mouth. Fans of them took sport in deriding more mainstream acts (like Bon Jovi). Funny how perceptions can override reality after the fact. Funny how closed minded marketers encourage us to be.

Speaking of Bon Jovi… I should share my review of last night’s concert – but words don’t come easy just yet. It was a night to remember. They, Sheryl Crow, and The Goo Goo Dolls gave the Vet its last rock concert and it couldn’t have been better.

“The challenge is to get everyone on your side, singing along, driving you to work harder. Not just the people down front, but the people in the upper deck, too. They’re paying you to jump around, but they don’t get anything extra for doing it themselves. They can sit on their hands if they want. But their actions and reactions are what fuels me to reach to a higher plane. When I get there I know I’m doing my job well. I’d be brokenhearted if it was ever some other way.”

Mission accomplished. Last night the Vet was a cathedral of rock n’ roll.