May 12, 2014 Mike Tramp Enchants Revolution Music Hall Amityville, NY 4-23-14
Mike Tramp is one of rock’s most distinctive voices of the past three decades as part of White Lion and Freak of Nature. Hitting the road for the first time in 2014, Tramp’s solo tour kicked off March 19th in Hollywood, CA and will extend until the end of May; stopping in cities across the nation. On Wednesday April 23rd, Tramp arrived at Revolution Music Hall in Amityville, NY to perform with Midnight Mob and Randy Jackson.
Based on Long Island, Midnight Mob has been making some noise on the New York rock scene. Mixing the best of gritty rock with their own unique touch, the band has been known for great electric shows, and now they had opportunity to break it down in an acoustic setting. Putting on an impressive performance, the band played acoustic versions of original songs in an entertaining and powerful fashion. Vocalist Blackey shined with strong vocals that remind us of classic rock female singers such as Janis Joplin. Bassist Carly joined guitarists Micky and Spydyr on stage as a three-guitar-threat intertwining melody and led with a sound reminiscence of the Guns N’ Roses acoustic days. Be it electric or acoustic, Midnight Mob is worth checking out.
Next up, taking fans on a trip down memory lane, was Randy Jackson of Zebra. Originally from New Orleans, LA, the band relocated to Long Island in 1977 and playing clubs in the area frequently; now they are local legends in rock as part of the Long Island Music Hall of Fame. As time passed, the landscape of the Long Island rock scene has changed, and through it all Zebra remains relevant; regularly performing in the area. This time around Jackson would take the stage solo with only a twelve string acoustic guitar in hand, sitting in the spot light. From the first chord of Zebra’s “Who’s Behind The Door”, he grabbed the audience and provoked excitement song after song. Playing a mix of Zebra classics and even some Led Zeppelin, Jackson showed he still gives it all he has while on stage. Jackson’s guitar ability is impeccable and it warms the hearts of Long Islanders to know he is their own.
With the stage set, it was time for Mike Tramp to play in front of this generous sized crowd for a Wednesday night. Known primarily as a hard rock vocalist, Tramp’s roots run deep into folk music with influence from Bob Dylan, Neil Young, among others. That is why it is no surprises that in recent years Tramp has taken to the road acoustically to show fans a different side of his repertoire. In 2013 he released his seventh solo studio album titled Cobblestone Street, which is the pinnacle of Tramp’s folk side with a variety of stripped down tunes with deep and personal lyrics. Receiving positive reviews across the board, Tramp continues supporting the material into 2014 for audiences across America.
As Tramp walked onto the stage, the cheering began raining down and did not settle until the last note. Opening up with an acoustic version of White Lion’s “Little Fighter”, Tramp lit up the stage; provoking smiles and happiness to spread through the room. Moving into songs from his solo albums, Tramp showed the soul of a thoughtful, passionate, and talented songwriter. With strong inflections in his vocal delivery and the resonating plucking of acoustic guitar strings, each song came to life with color; brightly lighting up Revolution Music Hall. Mixing in plenty of White Lion songs as well as some Freak of Nature material, Tramp provided an excellent balance which kept the audience intrigued and interactive. Feeling like a private storyteller’s event, Tramp spoke with the audience on a personal level about his life and experiences along his journey thus far. Having a deeper understanding of an artist’s life, ideas, and visions brings an audience that much closer to the music, thus creating a deeper connection which was strongly felt on the floor.
Breaking down some of White Lion’s most memorable songs such as “Hungry” and “Wait” to acoustic format gave listeners a different perspective on the material. While some heavier rock songs do not translate well to acoustic guitar, Tramp excelled at re-arranging these and every other piece he performed. While the hits were sprinkled generously throughout, perhaps the most exciting part of the set was Tramp playing songs off his latest album like the title track “Cobblestone Street”. If you listened closely you could get lost in the vivid words sung by Tramp. The lyrics may be about his childhood growing up in Copenhagen, Denmark, but they can easily be replaced with memories of all of us from our time growing up as well.
As the evening came to close, Tramp played a few more great tunes including the emotionally beautiful song “When The Children Cry”. It is amazing this song is still topical and fresh, provoking the same emotions as it did twenty seven years ago. For music lovers, Mike Tramp’s performance was not one to be missed and he is still at the top of his game as a writer and performer. Leaving a warm feeling in the audience’s hearts, Tramp said it best, “I am at the peak of the mountain, playing music I love”. Fans can only hope he continues to do so for many years to come.