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Skid Row/ Slaughter

Date: 06/15/07
Venue: Starland Ballroom Sayreville, New Jersey
Reviewed By: Rich Catino

Skid Row setlist:

Big Guns
Sweet Little Sister
18 and Life
I Remember You
Beat Yourself Blind
Another Dick in the System
Slave to the Grind
Youth Gone Wild
Psycho Therapy
Monkey Business
Piece of Me
Makin a Mess
New Generation

Slaughter setlist:

Eye to Eye
Mad About You
Up All Night
Fly to the Angels
Real Love
Wild Life
Spend My Life
Take Me Away
Burning Bridges
New Song

If memory serves me correctly….it has been several years since Slaughter has done some touring, well at least on this coast. I always liked these guys (don’t care they were categorized a “hair band”) and was a fan of Mark and Dana’s work with the Vinnie Vincent Invasion. I know, many say how can you take Mark’s piercing voice but hey I dig it and that type of vocal is so much a part of heavy metal music anyway, ya gotta love it.

Tonight they played for an hour unfortunately only doing ten songs while including some of Black Sabbath’s Heaven and Hell during “Mad About You” which was cool and worked very well. I think they did this also last time I saw them. But it would have been a stronger set if they worked in another song or two including something off of “Fear No Evil” (“Unknown Destination”, “Outta My Head”) since they usually do focus on the first two records for the track selection.

Mark Slaughter still has the pipes, maybe not working with the higher range and hitting so many of those falsetto notes, but when he does you know it. Jeff Blando is still on lead guitar (replacing the late Tim Kelly) and his tone, and playing, sounded great, with Dana Strum on bass and somebody new on drums (usually its Bobby Rock also from the VV Invasion) I’m assuming again temporarily in place of Blas Elias. Blas was missed behind the kit but his substitute did a solid job. Sorry I didn’t get his name.

According to Mark they are working on some new material and they worked a song into the set which sounded really good. I will be looking forward to the new album since 1999’s “Back To Reality” was a hit or miss effort.

After playing the massive Sweden Rock festival in Europe, Skid Row returned home for, comparatively, a sizeable crowd at the Starland Ballroom. They played the same exact set last time I saw them at the Eddie Trunk Halloween party in ‘06’ which was a solid one ( although I wish they would do something else off “Subhuman Race” other than the usual “Beat Yourself”) so it must be working. Rachel (bass), Snake (guitar) and Scotti (guitar) remain the core of the band joined by Johnny Solinger on vocals (almost ten years now) and Dave Gara on drums. I’m sure people have their reservations about Johnny even after all these years but he is a solid vocalist and pulls it off doing Sebastian Bach’s work justice hitting many of the screams as well as being a very hospitable and entertaining frontman. The band was really tight and on fire and even though I am less than happy with their newest album “Revolutions Per Minute”, “Another Dick in the System” from it came across well live. I am just rather jaded not getting more Skid records like “Slave to the Grind” (and no I am looking for them to repeat themselves) with the last two with Johnny on vocals being more punk inspired than metal. Let’s hope the next record is more back on track.

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