Skid Row @ Hard Rock Cafe (10/29/2006)

Logo - Skid Row

Artist: Skid Row
Venue: Hard Rock Café (New York, NY)
Date: 10/29/2006
Label: SPV Records

There is nothing like a Rock And Roll Halloween Party and tonight at The Hard Rock Café, a small amount of lucky fans of the Eddie Trunk radio show “Friday Night Rocks” would be able to enjoy a free show performed by Skid Row. Trunk has been doing a Halloween bash for a couple of years now, with Overkill and Skid Row being part of the past shindigs. The choice of venue was excellent because it is the brand new Hard Rock Café on Broadway in Times Square and the place if magnificent. Not only do you get a mini Rock museum but also deep inside you have cool bars and a great stage to see some hot music groups deliver the goods upon. It was my first time in the place so I was interested in seeing the lights and hearing the sound system given my venue knowledge from places such as Irving Plaza, B.B. Kings, and Nokia Theatre. It was a pleasant surprise as this is one great space and perfect for an intimate show, special event party like this, or industry/fan club showcases. To gain entry you had to listen to Eddies show and win access or email him on a specified time and day. I was not sure of the actual headcount but it did look at about 300 people and many of them were in costumes – after all this was a Halloween Bash. A contest for most popular costume was done first and included celebrity guest judges Mike Piazza (former NY Mets) and Michael Wagener (music super producer). The winners were a sexy nun and some sort of giant fly guy. I felt there were better ones around me but they didn’t get selected for the contest. With the formalities over, it was time to Rock & Roll with Skid Row.

The group hit the stage electric, and you expect this of a band that has been pretty consistent performers for the past twenty something years. They would be supporting their SPV Records release “Revolutions Per Minute”, which is a solid Hard Rock CD that I think has a couple of great moments on it. However, tonight I was guilty of wanting to hear the hit songs from the past and believe me there would be a lot of them to enjoy. Only three original members remain in the band with Scotti Hill, Dave “The Snake” Sabo and Rachel Bolan while drumming is handled by Dave Gara (he replaced second drummer Phil Varone). Vocal duties are in the capable pipes of Johnny Solinger and oddly enough there are still people who maintain that the group is nothing without former singer Sebastian Bach. While I am a fan of the guy, I have to admit that Johnny (the “new singer” for the past seven years) is really good at what he does. He has a great delivery and range on recordings and to prove this is not a studio trick he shows that he can do the job on the stage as well. Johnny and the guys went on to deliver quite the energetic set and while this was a free show, it did seem like all those around me were Skid Row fans as they sang the choruses back to the group with their hands held high. I enjoyed catching them and was happy that they were not one of the standstill and play groups. Instead they were all over the sizable stage and while Snake is quite animated during a performance, Bolan is simply insane to observe. Faces and pick tossing tricks to the audience made him a lot more fun during the show. Solinger sang everything, and he really does rock on their classic numbers but he would take a breather to allow Snake to sing the Ramones classic “Psycho Therapy” which was given a slightly Metal overhaul. As the night seemed to draw to a close the band played “Strength”, which is one of the best tracks on the new album, and has a slight Cult feel to it. It would not be the final song for the night for now a bombastic performance of “Youth Gone Wild” would set the place wild and to make it more special Eddie Trunk and Mike Piazza came out and helped the band along. Mike even grabbed the guitar for a few minutes and everyone in the place was singing their hearts out. I was glad to be a part of this and I guess should extend an extra thanks to Eddie Trunk who proved to a crowded club that even “Sunday Night Rocks”.

Footnote: The mighty Hammerfall was in the house as well tonight with Joachin Cans and Oscar Dronjek who were in town for their listening party with the fans that would happen the following night at Lit Lounge. Also present was Jack Frost, and I had heard Dave Ellefson was there but I did not see him in my wanderings.

Set List:
1. Thick Is The Skin
2. Piece Of Me
3. Sweet Little Sister
4. New Generation
5. 18 And Life
6. Monkey Business
7. Another Dick In The System
8. Big Guns
9. Psycho Therapy
10. I Remember You
11. Disease
12. Slave To the Grind
13. Beat Yourself Blind
14. Strength
15. Youth Gone Wild – encore

Before the show actually took place, Eddie held a costume party and why not, this was Halloween after all.  Of course I only snapped a little over a handful of photos of this part of the night since I wanted to make sure that I had maximum charge for the Rock segment of our evening.  I was a little hazy if I had recharged my batteries before I left and hey, this happens to a person from time to time.  Anyways, here are the party images.

Rocking Revelers

I am not sure if the girl in the blue was supposed to be a sexy waitress but the lass in the white was clearly designed to be a sexy bride to be.  Off to the left in this image is a dude made up as Ace Frehley.

In this shot we find the mascot of the N.J. Devils hockey team (boo hiss, throws popcorn since I am a true blue N.Y. Rangers fan).  Next to him the motif of sexiness continues with a sexy nun.  I sure don’t remember any like this from my formative Catholic school years.  Next to her nunishness is a dude dressed as Ralph Kramden’s “Man From Space” which if you saw the episode won him second place for being “the pinball machine”.  Poor Ralph.

A little bit of a closer shot of the sexy nun as the judges examined the entrees for the coveted price of music CD’s, DVD’s and I believe a guitar signed by Skid Row.

There was another weird costumed guy on stage and I think he called himself the Rock and Roll Fly or something like that.  The other two dudes you might know as well since that is Don Jamieson from Eddie’s radio show and Mike Piazza from the New York Mets baseball franchise.  If you listen to Eddie’s show you also know what a supporter of Metal Mike actually is and that is never a bad thing to pay attention to.

The Nun seemed to be getting the most attention and who could argue with legs like that.  I’m sorry, where was I again?  Oh yes, so it looked as though this young lady’s little adventure into blasphemy was going to pay off with the big prize.

Here we see Eddie Trunk talking to the queen of temptation and she appeared to have an accent but it was a little hard to hear what exactly she was saying.  Maybe she was telling Eddie that he had been naughty and not nice, oh wait, that’s the wrong holiday.  Moving along down the line you can also see another contestant who was dressed like a member of the band ZZ Top.  He didn’t win of course.

While I didn’t mean to cut half of Eddie out of the photo it happens from time to time.  Eddie also spoke to the crowd as one of his own lovely assistants tossed out some plastic shot glasses that bore the logo of his radio program.

I did catch one in case you were curious but I didn’t take a photo of it for you to enjoy.  I felt it would be too braggy 🙂

Also present at the party tonight were two members of the band Hammerfall.  The guys were in town to have a CD listening party that would be held on the following night.  I couldn’t attend that gathering but did snap a couple of photos of lead singer Joachim Cans as he enjoyed the New York City Halloween shenanigans.  Here’s Joachim and the lovely Ute.

While the guy dressed as Ace didn’t win the contest he did win the chance to be featured in our narrative in the visual sense and we know that is an un-monitizable prize if there ever was one.  As you can see the Power Metal singer was at this point having a blast and super excited to meet his regional fans as they presented the bands newest album to them.

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