October 16, 2017 Tom Keifer Shakes Up NYC 10-11-17
The dawn of a new millennium saw a revival of the phenomenon known as ’80s Hair Bands. Summer after summer during the early 2000s saw fans of the decade’s Hard Rock/Metal break out the Aqua-Net, filling amphitheaters once again to witness their heroes including bands such as Poison, Mötley Crüe, and Whitesnake. Fast forward, 15 something years later and a portion of these bands began to slow down. Artists like Bret Michaels put Poison on hiatus for a while to embark on a solo career, Mötley Crüe retired altogether as a band in 2015, while others just faded into the night. So, what other rockers from the ’80s era would fly solo? Well, let us not forget Mr. Tom Keifer, frontman of the multi-platinum selling Cinderella.
Producing a solo venture back in 2013 with his album The Way Life Goes, ever since, Keifer has thrived, paving his own way on a Rock-n-Roll Blues inspired road. Set to release an expanded edition of his acclaimed debut album on October 20, 2017 featuring bonus tracks and special artwork, Keifer is back out on the road this fall. Beginning the new fun on September 23rd, on Wednesday, October 10th, Keifer’s merry Rock show stopped by B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in the heart of New York City.
Opening up the show, a relatively unknown band to the New York City crowd, hailing from Orange County, California, was Joyous Wolf. Formed in 2014, Joyous Wolf is made up of Vocalist Nico “Nick Reese” Ruiz, Bassist Greg Braccio, Guitarist Blake Allard, and Drummer Robert “Bob” Sodaro. As they took the stage at B.B. King’s, who would know these four guys, who did not appear to be a day older than 21, were about to give a mindblowing performance.
Strikingly, sounding as if Led Zeppelin merged with Jefferson Airplane, Joyous Wolf burst into their realm of music, drowning the audience in a Psychedelic and Blues filled dimension. As the band played their opening number, “Mountain Man,” Reese, a wild frontman, gave nothing short of a seasoned performance. Running all over the stage, staying engaged with the audience, Reese fearlessly led Joyous Wolf’s stunning show as he dove into the crowd performing various back flips and dances.
Making their way across the country in a van, Reese explained they were humbled to be playing in New York for the first time. After years of playing the sunset strip, Joyous Wolf were glad to be out of California, Reese explained. Reese wittingly expressed that east-coasters know how to act like people and not be phony. Vividly, the band played on with jaw-dropping performances of “Turning Blue” and “Sleep Weep Stomp,” gaining more and more cheers from the packed house.
Fittingly, a highlight of their set came when the band jammed on some classic B.B. King. Lastly, the band thanked New York City for their love and, of course, Tom Keifer for bringing them out on tour. A band so great at what they do, Joyous Wolf are an extremely talented group of artists. On this night, the crowd absolutely adored Joyous Wolf.
At this juncture, the crowd was already enthralled in the performance, but the best was yet to come as Keifer introduced the next track as a Country-Blues Song he wrote many years ago. Arguably the best Cinderella ballad, “Heartbreak Station” was where Keifer effortlessly exhibited his musicianship as he performed a gorgeous solo on a pedal steel guitar. Intensifying the mood even more, “It’s Not Enough,” off The Way Life Goes, and “Shake Me” made for a deafening array of rough grooves/guitar licks.
Moving right along, by far the most enjoyable sing-a-longs of the set would be the back to back performances of monster ballads “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)” with his wife Savannah before going into “Nobody’s Fool.” Igniting an emotional response, it would continue along into “Solid Ground” before Keifer belted out, “I need a shot of gasoline!” to intro the heaviest tune in the set, the title-track to Cinderella’s 1986 debut album Night Songs. Thereafter “Coming Home” and “Shelter Me” found Keifer exploiting some of his best traits as a frontman, showing no fatigue and keeping his vocal performance strong as he shouted, “I wanna feel ya New York!” holding the microphone stand over the crowd so their screams could be resonated throughout the venue.
Appearing to be the end, Keifer and his band left the stage, but no one in B.B. King’s moved a muscle. Hoping for more, and receiving it, the band kicked into a cover of The Rolling Stones’ “Tumbling Dice.” Then, channeling the Beatles, Joe Cocker-style, Keifer and his band performed a well done version of “With A Little Help From My Friends” before tearing right into the finale of “Gypsy Road.”
After an amazing performance, the humble Keifer graciously thanked New York City for their love and support. In addition, he also announced the deluxe edition of The Way Life Goes via Cleopatra Records, as mentioned, available October 20th. To recap this special release, the package offers the remastered album, two new tracks, a studio version of the band doing “With A Little Help From My Friends,” “Nobody’s Fool” featuring Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale, a Documentary, and much more. All exciting news, perhaps the most exciting part is that the Tom Keifer Band are scheduled to continue touring through early December. This is in spite of a recent setback where they were forced to postpone the Warrendale, Pensylvania performance, where Keifer was taken to the hospital due to what appeared to be heat exhaustion. Not much can slow the dedicated Keifer down though, so do not waste time and get out there to experience the soulful night of Rock-n-Roll firsthand.
Photos by: Aintellin Photography