Sunday, August 05, 2012

Cinderella, Sebastian Bach marred by rough vocals

This post was originally posted on The Orange County Register site on Saturday morning, Aug. 4, 2012.

Pacific 2012: Cinderella, Sebastian Bach marred by rough vocals but the party people don't mind

Some concerts are all about the party. That was clear long before headliner Cinderella or opening act Sebastian Bach took the stage at Pacific Amphitheatre Friday night (Aug. 3, 2012). Concert-goers, many wielding the biggest brews available, were mostly interested in chatting, snapping images of each other, texting pals on their cell phones or checking out the ’80s Sunset Strip attire of guys and gals who never saw Nirvana and Pearl Jam coming.
Against that summer-shindig backdrop, both Bach and Cinderella had the deck stacked in their favor.
Bach (real late name: Blerk) sang for Skid Row in the late ’80s and early ’90s before embarking on his solo career. Yet, despite an energetic effort to bring his best musical game to Costa Mesa, his rutted vocals marred the majority of his 45-minute set.
Backed by a solid band highlighted by lead guitarist Johnny Chromatic’s impressive fretwork, Bach’s finer moments came via well-known hits. “Monkey Business” sounded like an early AC/DC nugget, while dated but well-intentioned singalong versions of the acoustic rocker “I Remember You” and the set-ending “Youth Gone Wild” added a much-needed jolt to his show.
One of the better metal bands to emerge in the early ’80s, Cinderella turned in 75 minutes of material that was musically stronger than the opener but likewise too often marked by nails-on-chalkboard lead vocals. Frontman Tom Keifer, a particularly gifted guitarist and keyboardist, might want to consider recruiting another singer.
The group’s songs remain simple and often mired in hard rock cliches, but it’s easy to appreciate the head-banging appeal of its sharpest riffs. “Shake Me” displayed all of its “Back in Black”-style attack, many in the crowd shouting along. Similarly, “Nobody’s Fool” came off as a perfect amalgam of hard rock and British blues, additionally bolstered by ace guitar skills from Keifer and Jeff LaBar, who played in tandem. Drummer Fred Coury and bassist Eric Brittingham provided solid, in-the-pocket rhythm work throughout the night.
A tender, piano-anchored version of “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)” and the Southern rock-tinged “Coming Home” were especially poignant from a band known for navigating beyond its glam-metal roots. Elsewhere during the set, Cinderella injected blues, keyboards and slide guitar to showcase a broader approach than the likes of outfit’s many contemporaries. The night ended with a particularly loose, Stones-ish take on “Shelter Me.”

1 comment:

Blockage said...

Funny review I was at that same show and I had a great time listening to both bands. SB deffinately not what he use to be or once was but started the night off as a respectable warm up. Next up Cinderella took the stage to a bunch of screaming fans waiting to hear how rock should be played. Sad part about music these days is it has no substance. Just to get it out the way I'm not a huge fan of Cinderella but I can respect the fact they have been doing this so called nails on a chalkboard act you described for the past 25 years and still leave a lasting impression. The sad part of the review is not everyone has an ear for music that said don't quit your day job....