Tag Archives: jon levin

Poison & Dokken @ PNC Bank Arts Center (8/12/2008)

Poison continued the summer shows with an appearance in Holmdel, NJ at the PNC Bank Arts Center. This go round would bring both Dokken and Sebastian Bach along for the ride and we made sure to be a part of the fun in order to bring you the scoop. Scroll past the logo below to be brought to our article to see our thoughts and photos of the bands.

Logo - Poison

Artist: Poison
Venue: PNC Bank Arts Center (Holmdel, NJ)
Opener: Dokken, Sebastian Bach
Date: 8/12/2008
Label: Koch Records

Over the last couple of years I have not been able to say that the summer was drawing to a close until I had attended one of the Poison “shed” concerts that always seem to come around these parts around the same time each year. For me, these shows were only a recent bit of fun to attend as I grew up entrenched in a much darker and a lot heavier type of Metal. Based on this fact I had to say that any love for Poison and how they did things was always kept on the low end of the conversation. Of course as time went on and my musical interests expanded I grew to appreciate just how much fun they were in concert and how catchy and relevant their music was when it came to living ones life in good spirits and with a smile. Poison had done some great summer shows over the last couple of years as well and my first go round was checking them out with Cinderella and the following year with Ratt. This time around would find not only the eighties staple Dokken, but also a performance from Skid Row’s former front man Sebastian Bach. Surely this was going to be a rocking night and Bach would be coming on first. The adventure was also taking place at the PNC Bank Arts Center, where I had just seen the Metal Masters tour the previous week.
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“Lightning Strikes Again” by Dokken

Artist: Dokken
Title: “Lightning Strikes Again”
Label: Rhino Entertainment
Release Date: 5/13/2008
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 4/5

When you think of the bands that really made an impact on the Big Metal scene of the eighties you just know that one of the first names to come to mind is going to be none other than Dokken. Since their inception in 1976, the band came into Rock prominence with their debut release “Breaking The Chains” (1983) and by the time their sophomore release “Tooth And Nail” (1984) hit, the band had seemed to reach stratospheric heights and their videos were running rampant on that new medium called MTV while conventional radio was welcoming some of their tracks in a regular rotation. The got lumped into the Glam Metal title but they were clearly a little deeper than many of those bands based on the level of technical ability displayed by guitarist George Lynch and the overall heaviness of their material. Over the years the band has changed somewhat in terms of lineup, as Lynch and Pilson are no longer a part of the group, but singer Don Dokken remains in place with original drummer “Wild” Mick Brown and together along with guitarist Jon Levin and journeyman bassist Barry Sparks have delivered “Lightning Strikes Again”. For those only coming into the picture now and wondering how the band could continue without the firepower of Lynch well let me be the first to say that Jon Levin kicks ass and has been doing justice to the bands classics on the live stage for a number of years. As far as bassist Sparks goes, well he counts UFO and Ted Nugent among his many credits so you know he is more than a capable player for anything Don and company can dish out. The title of the album is also fantastic for on “Lightning Strikes Again” we are finding a Dokken that has returned to the form that many of us first enjoyed in the band. It’s by no means a retro-album but instead one that plays upon the sounds and textures that made them one of the favorites and brings them together with a crunching vibe for the new millennium.
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Dokken @ Starland Ballroom (7/9/2004)

Logo - Dokken

Artist: Dokken
Venue: Starland Ballroom (Sayreville, NJ)
Opener: L.A. Guns
Label: Sanctuary Records
Date: 7/9/2004

I admit I was excited about this show for a couple of reasons. The first was the chance to see two great bands on the same bill; the second was the chance to be at Starland Ballroom once again. Combined with attending with some good buds, how could one go wrong with all these factors?

LA Guns hit the stage with a great set of some of their best numbers. Phil was in great vocal form and Guns Vet Steve Riley was as smooth as ever on the drums. No other originals remain and the band is instead joined by Roxx Gang’s Stacey Blaze and Adam Hamilton. Phil also took some time on the guitar. Phil was clearly enjoying himself as he kept prompting the NY/NJ audience to yell “fuck yeah”. He stressed how great it was to be on tour and to see everyone’s warm reception. Their set was too short if you ask me. While I enjoy drum solos, I feel Steve should not have done one and instead performed a few more tunes. I look forward to seeing a longer set from them in the future.
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