November 14, 2017 Skid Row Rip Up The Paramount Huntington, NY 11-9-17 w/ The Dead Deads
New Jersey’s own Skid Row are highly regarded as one of the greatest Hard Rock/Heavy Metal acts of the 1980’s. While Guns N’ Roses were the most dangerous band in the world, Skid Row were right on their tail giving GNR a run for their money. In 1989, the classic Skid Row line-up – Sebastian Bach (vocals), Dave “Snake” Sabo (guitars), Scotti Hill (guitars), Rachel Bolan (bass), and Rob Affuso (drums) made a ruckus with their self-titled debut album. Packed with catchy Rock/Metal hooks, Earth-shaking vocals from Bach, and raunchy yet poetic lyrics, it is the album that ascended Skid Row to the heights of superstardom, rising to No. 6 on the Billboard Top 200 thanks to monster hits like “18 & Life,” “I Remember You,” and “Youth Gone Wild.”
Their wild performances elated audiences as Skid Row hit the road opening for the likes of Aerosmith, the aforementioned Guns N’ Roses, and Bon Jovi. As the 1990s arrived, Skid Row’s sound grew heavier – to the pleasure of fans – with albums like 1991’s Slave To The Grind and 1995’s Subhuman Race. Spawning hits like “Monkey Business” and “Wasted Time,” the band continued to reach new levels of success even as the Grunge era took over. Then, in 1996, they parted ways with Bach and in 1998 with Affuso, but never wavered in their quest to Rock. In 1999, Vocalist Johnny Solinger was hired and fronted Skid Row for the next 16 years as the band drew rabid crowds wherever they played. On top of all this, Skid Row have never stopped making kick-ass albums as heard on 2014’s Rise Of The Damnation Army.
Fast Forward to January 2017, Skid Row revealed ex-Dragonforce Vocalist ZP Theart to be their new frontman joining Sabo, Hill, Bolan, and Drummer Rob Hammersmith. Soon after, the announcement of a world tour would follow, creating a buzz and curiosity of what to expect from the reinvigorated Skid Row. Amidst it all, the itinerary included a stop at The Paramount down in Huntington, New York on the eve of Thursday, November 9th.
Primed and ready for a face-melting experience, a fired-up crowd assembled in the venue as the first band – WestNyle – took the stage. Hailing from Deer Park, NY, WestNyle – Mike (Vocals), John (Guitar), Anthony (Bass), and Roger (Drums) – supply an arsenal of ferocious Thrash Metal riffs, pulsating drums, and dark vocals. On the heels of their latest release, 2016’s Witch’s Mark, WestNyle unquestionably came prepared to deliver a stark brand of Metal. A setlist chock-full of tunes showing influences reminiscent to Slayer and Lamb of God surely riled up the hometown audience. By the end of their set, WestNyle certainly pleased their fans and earned new followers along the way. Lastly, the band thanked Skid Row for the tremendous opportunity. Look out for a WestNyle show near you!
Next on the bill, The Dead Deads – making their way from Nashville, Tennessee – are a real interesting band with boat loads of character and a lot of potential. Band members Meta Dead (Vocals/Guitar), Dolly Dead (Guitar), Daisy Dead (Bass), and Johnnie Dead (Drums) are no strangers to the big stage after touring with the likes of Halestorm, Evanescence, and Five Finger Death Punch. A touch of face paint and a couple of alien props were a mere backdrop to the endless amount of lyrical substance and stage presence this band brings to the table. Their sound can be described as mellow and dark, yet fast and fun, with influences ranging from Nirvana to Weezer. They even have an army of followers, fans they call The Dead Corps.
That all said, The Dead Deads took the stage with an engaging vibe that really took to the Long Island crowd. Opening with “Nothing Will Be Fine” followed by “Animals,” the band displayed an enormous amount of moxie for not only performance but channeling their message through the music and lyrics. The catchy “Fresh Kicks” brought a fun and infectious vibe to the set, followed by “Honeysuckle Sam.” Then, with “Nope,” the band touched on the subject of abuse in a powerful way before going into “Space” and the closing number “Blackout.”
Putting on a strong showing, The Dead Deads also showed their gratitude to Skid Row for having them and were excited to be back on Long Island for the first time since 2014 when they opened for Halestorm. The best part of it all is The Dead Deads have only just begun to show what they are capable of if they continue to push forward with a true spirit for music. Working hard on their third studio album, even more exciting, the band is about to embark on the Poison The Parish Tour with Seether and, in the coming year, tours with Stone Sour and Halestorm are being planned.
Now, an amply charged up audience could not have been more ready for headliners Skid Row. The moment the lights faded, the place was hot with unbridled anticipation. Hammersmith – taking his spot behind the drumkit – slowly kicked off “Slave To The Grind” right before Sabo, Bolan, and Hill exploded out from behind the amps with full-blown, rampant aggression as Theart arrived to deliver his impressive vocals.
Without fail, the band slayed the place with deep track “Sweet Little Sister,” the groove-filled “Piece of Me,” and the edgy “Livin’ On A Chain Gang.” “Big Guns” was a big favorite as the crowd was happy to sing along with the song title – and enjoy the hidden meaning implied. Moving along, “18 & Life” could not be more fun to sing along to as the audience cried out every word. Showing no signs of fatigue, the band really seemed to enjoy playing – as the crowd enjoyed hearing – additional deep cuts from the first album “Makin’ a Mess” and “Rattlesnake Shake.” Then, wearing their influences on their sleeves, Bolan took to the mic to sing a cover of The Ramones’ “Psycho Therapy.”
Skid Row has always been known for their ability to write tremendous ballads and their performance of “Quicksand Jesus” brought down the house. Here, as well as throughout the rest of the set, Theart’s vocals shined on a song of this magnitude as he delivered a rousing performance. Then came the most insane performance of the night, “Monkey Business,” which was like a punch in the face while featuring an all-out extended guitar solo with Sabo and Hill exchanging guitar riffs like two prizefighters.
At this point, everyone knew what was next as the acoustic guitar was brought on stage for an incredible performance of the brilliant “I Remember You” before the set wound down with “We Are The Damned” before the rebellious “Youth Gone Wild” shook The Paramount in a finale fitting for the New York Rock scene.
Skid Row are one of those bands that emphatically bring it every time they step onto a stage. Not to be forgotten, Theart fits in so well as a the new vocalist with Skid Row, assuring fans they are ready to take on another 10 years. His vocal delivery, as well as his expression of the lyrics, really left an impression. Tireless, they continuing along their way touring now and well into 2018, so do not hesitate and get out there and see the latest edition of Skid Row!
Photos by: Aintellin Photography