August 8, 2014 The Winery Dogs sellout in return to Long Island NY 7-28-14
The Winery Dogs have been one of the most talked about new rock-n-roll acts of the past two years. Formed back in 2012 by an all-star cast of musician friends looking to bring something unique to modern rock, Winery Dogs is Richie Kotzen on lead vocals /guitar, Mike Portnoy on drums/ backing vocals , and Billy Sheehan on bass/ backing vocals. After receiving fan and critic praise for self-produced 2013 debut album on independent label Loud & Proud the band continues to hit the club circuit headlining shows and wowing audiences globally in 2014. Bouncing city to city for the better part of the last four months, the band returned to Long Island, NY for the second time in less than a year, this time to sell-out Revolution Bar & Music Hall in Amityville on Monday July 28th.
Greeting the audience as they piled in were local rock acts Symptom 7 and Borge Pass. Directly following, national support came from Charm City Devils who were ready to show this room exactly what they are all about. Hailing from Baltimore, MD the band came together back in 2007 and consists of former SR-71 drummer John Allen on lead vocals, Victor Karrera on guitar, Nick Kay on guitar, Anthony Arambula on bass guitar, and Jason Heiser on drums. With two successful studio albums, national touring including a spot on the 2012 Monster Energy Rock Allegiance Tour, and considerable airplay on SiriusXM’s Octane, Charm City Devils are a band that is in it to win it.
Coming out to a packed room of people staring them straight in the face these guys owned the stage from the moment they began. Performing songs from Let’s Rock-N-Roll (2009) and Sins (2012) including “Spite” and “Love N War” Allen worked the crowd belting out soaring vocals and possessing a stage presence with personality. Mixing in single “Devil Is A Woman” had everyone moving their feet and bopping their head. Charm City Devils did not wilt under the pressure of the jammed venue, they relished in it, and flourished. Keeping the audience into the set they performed “True Love (Hell Yeah)” and the great track “Man of Constant Sorrow”. Concluding their time on stage with new single “Shotz” the band received warm applauds and seemed to have charmed a new group of fans. Their third studio album Battles is out September 23rd via The End Records and is worth marking down on the calendar.
With Revolution Bar & Music Hall at its capacity, fans were elbow to elbow from the front of the stage all the way to the back bar eager to get as close as they could to see The Winery Dogs live in action. Amazing to fathom such an impressive turnout would take place on a Monday night, this only proved how much clout the band carries as they rise in popularity. Kicking off like a firecracker with “Elevate” the excitement level was off the charts having everyone rocking and rolling. Rocketing ahead, fans were treated to all their favorite The Winery Dogs songs including “We Are One”, “One More Time”, and “Time Machine”. Kotzen not only sang with inspiration, hitting every single note with grace, he also dominated on guitar. Playing off the vibes of one another, Sheenan put on an astounding bass clinic with dazzling finger work and affectionate tone. Moving along with “The Other Side” Sheenan transitioned smoothly into a five minute solo that awe-struck Revolution. Praising the lush instrumentation, the mellow “You Saved Me” kept everyone mesmerized with the thoughtful lyrics Kotzen brought to life colorfully and above all sincerely.
As the set wore on the stamina of the three bandmates did not fade as Kotzen and Sheenan bounced riffs back and forth complimented by Portnoy orchestrating the tempo. Portnoy proudly spoke of the band and emphasized this is not a side-project but a legitimate band here to stay. Hearing these words from the former Dream Theater drummer’s mouth incited more cheers of joy from the audience assured that they can expect to hear more from The Winery Dogs as they continue to grow. Playing on with the bluesy “I’m No Angel” and the atmospheric textures of “The Dying”, not one person was ready to cut out early with worries of getting up for work the next morning. This crowd was in for the long haul knowing that the set was far from over. The encore saw Kotzen behind the keyboard soulfully playing “Regret” before they closed out with a bang on the Talas cover “Shy Boy”.
The Winery Dogs did everything right at Revolution Bar & Music Hall as they gave their fans one stellar performance of unfiltered, straight from the heart rock-n-roll. It was truly a night where the band and the spectators became one cohesive unit. While many other highly touted musicians have attempted to collaborate in years past, being slightly off the mark, The Winery Dogs hit the bulls-eye with their old-school approach to composing songs that have substance and vitality.