Attendance was fair, but should have been much better with the caliber of the bands on the bill. Come on Reno, if this kind of stuff continues, the major heavy duty bands will skip Reno all together, and that would suck.
Mike Allen, Co-Founder and Promoter for Universal Concert Group, which put on the show, gave away 1,000 tickets to all of the Reno/Sparks first responders, including Firemen, Doctors, Nurses, Police Officers, Paramedics and more. Allen said, “We just dial 911 and these first responders are on their way immediately to help save lives. We want to be their 911 for a little entertainment".
The night started out with Great White hitting the stage first.
Great White is an American hard rock band, formed in Los Angeles in 1977. The band gained popularity during the 1980s and early 1990s. They released several albums in the late 1980s and gained airplay on MTV with music videos for songs like "Once Bitten, Twice Shy". The band reached their peak popularity with the album "Twice Shy" in 1989.
They continued to release new material into the 1990s, although none of their material charted in the United States. In 2003, the band made headlines when The Station nightclub fire led to the deaths of 100 people in West Warwick, Rhode Island, including the band's guitarist Ty Longley, who had been a member of Jack Russell's solo band. In 2011 the band split with Jack Russell forming "Great White Featuring Jack Russell" and Terry Ilous then fronted Great White. Great White has sold over 10 million records worldwide.
Current members include, Mark Kendall-(guitar), Michael Lardie-(keyboards,guitar), Scott Snyder-(bass), Audie Desbrow-(drums) and Terry Illous-(vocals).
The set lasted over 45 minutes and went something like this, (from memory).
"Desert Moon", "Lady Red Light", "On Your Knees", "(I've Got) Something For You", "House Of Broken Love", "Hard To Say Goodbye", "Save Your Love", "Blues Jam", "Mista Bone", "Can't Shake It", "Rock Me" and one encore song, "Once Bitten Twice Shy".
These guys still have what it takes rock out the fans. They did have a problem with the sound during the first song though, the sound guy must have fallen asleep at the wheel, but fixed it pretty fast, then the band proceeded to blow the roof off the REC. An awesome set for sure.
Having met the band earlier in the day, this examiner can say that everyone in the band is really down to earth and friendly. For example, during Queensryche's set, me and a couple of the other phototogs were standing side stage after our three song limit was up and guess what happened next, out comes Great White's lead singer, Terry Illous with a pizza, so we all stood there watching Queensryche's set, eating pizza. Very cool.
This examiner can't say enough on how great they treat their fans.
Up next was Queensryche (minus Geoff Tate). I knew new lead singer, Todd LaTorre was good after listening to the new album, but didn't realize how really good he was.
Queensrÿche is an American progressive heavy metal band formed in 1982 in Bellevue, Washington. The band has released twelve studio albums, one EP and several DVDs, and continues to tour and record. The original lineup consisted of vocalist Geoff Tate, guitarists Chris DeGarmo and Michael Wilton, bassist Eddie Jackson and drummer Scott Rockenfield.
The band has been successful in the progressive scene, having sold over 20 million albums worldwide, including over 6 million albums in the United States. They received worldwide acclaim after the release of their 1988 album Operation: Mindcrime, which is often considered one of the greatest concept albums of all time. Their follow-up release, Empire, released in 1990, was also very successful and included the hit single "Silent Lucidity". The band has received three Grammy Award nominations for songs off both albums. Rockenfield also received a Grammy nomination outside of Queensrÿche.
In 1997, guitarist and primary songwriter DeGarmo left the band for personal reasons. Over the years, his replacements have been Kelly Gray, Mike Stone, and most recently Parker Lundgren, respectively.
Following a highly publicized backstage altercation before a show in São Paulo, Brazil in April 2012, Tate was fired from the band and replaced with Crimson Glory singer Todd La Torre. That's a whole other story in it's self.
Their set lasted over 60 minutes and went like this, (from the set list on stage),
"Queen Of The Reich", "Speak", "Walk In The Shadows", "The Whisper", "En Force", "Warning", "X2", "Where Dreams Go To Die", "A World Without", "NM 156 ", "My Empty Room", "Eyes Of A Stranger" and three encore songs, " Take Hold Of The Flame", "Jet City Woman" and "Empire".
From the very first scream of the first song Queen Of The Reich, I knew that La Torre was the perfect fit for this band. He absolutely blew the audience away on every song, hitting every note to perfection. He has brought a new energy to this band that this examiner thought was draining with Tate after seeing them many times before. It's like what Arnel Pineda did to Journey, brought new life to the band.
After the show, I asked random fans on my way out of the venue who they liked better on vocals, Tate or La Torre? 9 out of 10 said, "Tate who". Now that says a lot.
If you missed this one, I don't know what else to say, but you really missed a great show. ln my opinion, Queensryche stole this one.
Rounding out the night was the one and only Vince Neil.
Vince Neil is an American vocalist and musician, best known as the lead vocalist of heavy metal band Mötley Crüe.
Although the Crüe was not in attendance, his solo band tore it up and played a wide variety of their songs.
Current members of the Vince Neil Band include, Vince Neil-(vocals, guitar), Dana Strum-(bass, backing vocals), Jeff Blando-(guitar, backing vocals) and Zoltan Chaney-(drums).
Neil's set went around 90 + minutes and went like this, (also from the set list on stage)
"Live Wire", "Dr. Feelgood", "Piece Of Your Action", "Looks That Kill", "Home Sweet Home", "Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)", "Same Ol' Situation (S.O.S.)", "Whole Lotta Love" (Led Zeppelin cover) (Jeff Blando on Vocals), "Heaven And Hell"
(Black Sabbath cover) (Jeff Blando on Vocals) and three encore songs, "Kickstart My Heart", "Girls,Girls,Girls" and "Wild Side".
Vince Neil can still rock the fans no matter who plays with him. He knows how to work his audience to a frenzy, specifically the ladies. There was not a woman or girl in the crowd that wasn't screaming to every move he made, he most definitely still has it.
Neil's drummer, Zoltan Chaney was a wild man on the kit. He plays like no other drummer this examiner has seen, he put on a show that was beyond belief, really amazing.
The highlight of the night was during Girls,Girls,Girls. Neil invited two very young rock fans onto the stage to help out with the singing and playing the guitar, bass and even the drums. Zack Rosenthal (Reno) and Lily Zuver (Encinitas, Ca.) had the time of their lives on stage. A memory they will soon not forget I'm sure. To see the photos, (click here) Lily's father, Glenn Zuver told me after he contacted me the next day that they were invited back stage to meet Neil after the show, Lily even got to give Neil a kiss on the cheek. Neil also gave her lots of swag, drum sticks, guitar picks and concert shirts, how cool is that.
All in all, this was a very exciting show, all the bands kicked butt.
Earlier in the day before the show, Great White and Queensryche did a meet & greet at a local guitar shop, Bizarre Guitar. Fans for both bands were in for a treat as they got to talk to each member of the bands, get what ever they wanted signed and even got photos taken with them. Bizarre Guitar puts these meet & greets on with many of the bands that come to play in Reno, that's how famous the guitar shop is, everyone knows about the shop and tries to stop in when their in town doing gigs.
Due to time restraints, Great White will do the interview the next time they hit Reno I'm told.
The Reno Events Center is Reno's premier venue. Great shows, great sound, great seating and most importantly for me being a photographer, great lighting. To see what's next at the REC (click here)
A great time was had by all.
As with all this examiners reviews and feature stories, "The Photos Are What It's All About", so check out the photo slideshow and enjoy the show.
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All photos by, JOHN TUCKNESS
Support your local bands and venues ... Go To a show !!!