Doro @ Gramercy Theatre (9/9/2011)

Logo - Doro

Artist: Doro Pesch
Venue: Gramercy Theatre (New York, NY)
Opener: Operatika, Desdemon
Date: 9/9/2011
Label: Nuclear Blast Records

The Queen has returned “All Hail The Queen!!!” Yes my friends; Doro Pesch the one true Metal Queen was back in her adopted home of New York City and performing a few choice shows for her loyal subjects. Right off the bat this was impressive to me because it was not much more than a week ago that the singer had returned from Germany to her Long Island home only to find that it had been destroyed by the recent Hurricane Irene. Reports hit the Metal websites about flooding and loss of numerous personal treasures and stage items but rather than disappoint her fans with a cancellation, she pressed on and said the gig would commence just the same. Thank you Doro, as you are truly an inspiration to us all in terms of personal inner resolve and strength. On behalf of the Metal Republic I proudly say “we love you”. The gig this evening would be at The Gramercy Theatre and the celebration would surround the recently released “25 Years In Rock” DVD/CD that was recorded in 2008 and features a full concert, a documentary and a live CD. Talk about a chock full of Metal package.

There would be two local openers starting things off this evening, but I would miss them entirely having been caught up with the first opener for the Arch Enemy show that was going on at the Best Buy Theater. Sometimes you need to be in two places at once and no matter how hard it is to do, you have to make it happen for the sake of the greater Metal good. Kicking off the show were Operatika and Desdemon. I hated to miss Operatika having enjoyed them a number of times in the past but sometimes it just cannot be worked out. Between each of the sets there were clips of Doro’s new DVD and she had done a VIP signing before the gig to meet with as many of the fans that wanted to do so. She is just cool like that and be aware that she is not only friendly when there is a signing. If you ever see her at another show you will realize this first hand. Doro and company hit the stage like a thunderclap at about 9:15 and she kicked us into gear with “Earthshaker Rock” into “I Rule The Ruins”. That was a good start for sure and as expected it was a loaded with energy delivery and one that proves to fans that you really get what you pay for when it comes to Doro Pesch in concert.

The Metal Queen knows how to keep the audience in her hands until she wants to let them go, which oddly enough never seems to be the case. I guess some of this is second nature to her after twenty five years. The great thing to notice very early on was that this was probably the most crowded I had ever seen a NYC Doro show as the entire floor was packed and there were only a couple of dozen seats open in the area where that is possible. This was awesome to witness especially when one considers how Arch Enemy was performing up at Times Square this same night with Devildriver and others. The singer spoke to the crowd often and this is nothing neither new nor staged. She loves her fans and feels such connection to them that you can even feel this sincerity from the audience. She spoke of the late great Ronnie James Dio and followed along with the chanting of his name before dishing out “Egypt, The Chains Are On”. As the night progressed she would also deliver some surprises as singer Mark Tornillo (now of Accept) came out to help with the vocals on “East Meets West” and then guitarist Chris Caffery was onstage for two of the ballad numbers. Sadly the musician was plagued by guitar issues but still gave a good performance for the fans. It was nice of the singer to have Caffery up there as he did a couple of tours with her over the years and also worked within the band for a little while. Some fans might not realize that he was a member of the no longer active Savatage and currently plays his holiday heart out with the incredible Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Doro also led the crowd in singing Happy Birthday to Chris as today was his day. That was nice. Guitarist Bas Maas was really showing off some talent and it’s great to see him in this gig considering that After Forever is no longer working together. I hated to see that band end but this kind of thing happens. We also found keyboardist Harrison switching between the boards and a guitar tonight. That was the first time I saw this happening and it provided a fuller sound. She thanked all in attendance again and again and gave kudos to her bassist of twenty five years Nick Douglas as well. Through it all drummer Johnny Dee was pounding it out but would do no drum solo this evening based on the show needing to end on time. There was a later scheduled event and that was finding Doro rushing through some of her proceedings. Personally I would have had the openers sticking to their own schedules rather than forcing the headlining band off the stage but I am only a scribe in the end and have no control over that. I will say that back in the L’Amour days that an opener never compromised a headlining set in any fashion. They are not who not who the larger audience paid good money to see in the end.

The only critique I could find is that Doro seems to have a “US Set” where she plays a lot of the same tunes again and again for the assembly of fans each time she tours here. I hope she does not think that we are not open to more of her material because she really has a lot of great stuff to share with us. As long as she leaves some of the most popular “standards” in place she should be fine – I know I am game. Sadly I had to split before the encores which found Caffery back onstage along with Joe Taylor (another of her guitarists at a time) but I had an appointment with Angela Gossow and the rest of Arch Enemy. Sadly that singer did not make an appearance and many thought that she would considering they were hitting the stage after 10:30pm and Doro had already been at it for over an hour by then. All in all another great show from Doro who really needs to do a proper US Tour with another two reliable, and attention getting mainstays. I once suggested she do a tour with Ed Guy or Hammerfall as that would be astounding. Thank you Doro for the twenty five years so far. Good luck with this new DVD on your new label and please keep kicking ass as long as you possibly can.

Set List:
1. Earthshaker Rock
2. I Rule The Ruins
3. Running From The Devil
4. Burning The Witches
5. Night Of The Warlock
6. Egypt
7. Metal Racer
8. True As Steel
9. East Meets West
10. Fur Immer
11. You’re My Family
12. Raise Your Fist
13. Burn It Up
14. Fight For Rock
15. We Are The Metalheads
16. All We Are

I was not around for the earlier Meet and Greet with the fans but here is Doro’s name up in the lights on the marquee.  Sorry that there are no real “other” shots to enjoy with this one, it’s not always easy to get that done for your viewing pleasure but we do it when we can.

Doro Tonight!!!

Be sure to check out her latest DVD “25 Years In Rock”.  It’s a killer.  I should also mention that tonight Arch Enemy would be performing up at The Best Buy Theater and I was going to be there for their set as well.  Luckily I am a Gemini.

Official Website: http://www.doropesch.com
Official Website: http://www.operatika.com


One thought on “Doro @ Gramercy Theatre (9/9/2011)”

  1. Great review Ken! I really like the Edguy/HammerFall tour suggestion. So often these great European acts come over here seperate but around the same time with local openers… I feel it would benefit these bands a lot more to do a packaged tour. Doro would be great with Primal Fear, Firewind or Saxon as well.

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