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Dokken/ Warrant/ Trixter

Date: 5/10/12
Venue: Bergen PAC, Englewood, NJ
Report By: Kevin Alba

Having never heard Trixter before aside from the hit single ‘One In A Million’ (I constantly see the video on the Retro Metal Channel at the gym that I work out at), I was looking forward to seeing what the Jersey natives had in store for tonight’s show. One thing I noticed right from the jump is these guys pack a lot more of a punch than metal fans would have had me believe. I've never listened to their albums before but have always been told they were one of the lighter hair metal bands. This may be true on disc but in the live setting these guys definitely delivered the goods. It wasn't hard to tell what were classics and what was from “New Audio Machine” (their brand new album which I have since heard a dig alot) based on crowd reaction. From the first song til the last I was very impressed and not bored with these guys at all. Crowd favorites included ‘One In A Million’, ‘Heart Of Steal’ and ‘Give It To Me Good’. Trixter were a great opener, their new album rocks and thanks to this night I am looking forward to travelling back and checking out their first two albums. I would definitely go see these guys again.

Warrant were up next and wow these guys should have easily headlined. Robert Mason is one hell of a frontman and to all those people out there who will not go on supporting this band because of Jani Lane no longer being here all I can simply say is to give them a shot. Was shocked to see when I went to use the rest room during the set so many people in the lobby drinking, socializing and missing Warrant's set, shame shame shame. However the crowd that was in there for the band were loud and passionate. The band started out firing on all cylinders with ‘Inside Out’ from the incredibly underrated “Dog Eat Dog” album. Now that’s how you open a set! Funny too that they started with this song because I always thought it was oddly out of place towards the tail end of that album and would have been much better as an opener. The boys mixed it up with classics from the first three albums (was great to also hear ‘Bonfire’ from “Dog Eat Dog”, ‘Down Boys’, ‘Love In Stereo’) and a healthy dose of new ones, noteably ‘Sex Ain't Love’, ‘Lifes A Song’, and ‘Home’. A crushing version of ‘Uncle Toms Cabin’ and the crowd favorite ‘Cherry Pie’ featuring members of Trixter and Ted Poley from Danger Danger rounded out the set.

Dokken was up next to close out the night and sadly it was not a memorable performance. I give Don credit for trying but his voice was really not holding up. He did not look to be in great shape, was talking a lot between songs and storytelling taking up time that could have included ‘Too High To Fly’ and ‘Dream Warriors’ which have been in the set at other stops during this tour. And its almost like he was trying too hard to come across as a bad ass. He reminded me a bit of when I saw Paul Dianno (ex Iron Maiden singer)a few years back in NYC but was not quite as in bad shape as Paul was. It was quite sad to see Don struggling so much or just purposely not hitting the highs where they are expected but I stuck it out as Dokken always been one of my favorite bands. The band was actually very on point and played very well together. Mick Brown was not in the picture tonight as he is out on tour with Ted Nugent but it was great to see Jimmy Degrasso (former Megadeth) on drums this evening giving it his all. Jon Levin played some killer guitar parts especially on ‘Kiss Of Death’ and ‘Into The Fire’. All in all it was an ok set but I have seen Don and the boys do much better before.

‘Tooth & Nail’ followed by ‘In My Dreams’ rounded out the set. I am hoping Don is able to stay in good health, get his voice up and still be able to deliver, if not it may be time to do the right thing and call it quits before the band becomes an embarrassment. Would love to see them come back with Don in better shape and play some deeper 80's cuts as well as tracks from “Erase the Slate” and “Lightning Strikes Again” (‘This Fire’ was played tonight from said album).

I will say that I am really looking forward to the upcoming Tooth & Nail project w/ George Lynch, Mick Brown, Jeff Pilson and guest vocalists to get my Dokken fix.

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