Sunday, January 25, 2015

Members of Blue Öyster Cult, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Van Halen rock Peavey 50th Anniversary Party at NAMM

Rickey Medlocke, Robert Randolph, Johnny Van Zant and 
Michael Anthony perform at the 2015 National Association of 
Music Merchants show at the Anaheim Convention Center on 
January 22, 2015 in Anaheim, CA. 
(Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for NAMM)
Peavey Electronics 50th Anniversary Concert
Who: Members of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Blue Öyster Cult, Van Halen, more
Where: Anaheim Hilton California Ballroom, NAMM Show
When: Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015

When major music manufacturers throw a party at the NAMM Show, they tend to go big.
So the thousands of attendees able to secure a spot inside the Hilton Anaheim's California Ballroom on Thursday night (Jan. 22, 2015) knew they were in for a unique night of music making courtesy of a party celebrating the 50th anniversary of Peavey and its 73-year-old founder and CEO Hartley Peavey
After a number of in-person and video tributes to Hartley Peavey, it was all about the music.

Blue Öyster Cult, from left, featured Eric Bloom, 
Richie Castellano (not clearly seen), Buck 
Dharma, drummer Bobby Rondinelli, and bassist 
Rudy Sarzo(Photo:Robert Kinsler)
Blue Öyster Cult, a trio of members from Lynyrd Skynyrd, original Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony, famed pedal steel guitarist Robert Randolph and all-star drummer Kenny Aronoff (Sting, John Mellencamp, John Fogerty, Walter Trout) were all showcased during the hour-long finale of the event.
While Blue Öyster Cult performed only four cuts, few seemed disappointed. Singer-guitarists Buck Dharma and Eric Bloom led the outfit through their biggest hits with an intensity suited to loosen up a crowd of industry insiders. The opener "Burnin' For You" displayed both Dharma's still-blazing fret work and the band's influential blend of hard rock and melodic song craft. "Godzilla," with tandem vocals from Dharma and Bloom and instrumental solos from guest bassist Rudy Sarzo (Ozzy Osbourne, Quiet Riot) and drummer Bobby Rondinelli (Rainbow, Black Sabbath) was also a crowd pleaser. The ambitious rocker "Cities on Flame With Rock and Roll" came next, featuring Richie Castellano on keys. On the set-ending "(Don't Fear) The Reaper," the energy in the hall was lifted even higher and the extended version was bolstered by a gigantic finale complete with Aronoff joining the band to add some percussive cowbell.

Robert Randolph and Johnny Van Zant of Lynyrd Skynyrd
perform at the 2015 National Association of Music Merchants
show at the Anaheim Convention Center on January 22, 2015 in Anaheim,
 California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for NAMM)
While the BÖC set was tight and recalled an abbreviated version of the groundbreaking band's outstanding outing at the Pacific Amphitheater in August 2014, the night-ending jam featuring the other stars on hand proved to be a more loose - and ultimately - unique affair. This five-song set spotlighted Lynyrd Skynyrd members Gary Rossington (guitar), Rickey Medlocke (guitar, vocals) and Peter Keys (piano) joined by Anthony (bass, vocals), Randolph (pedal steel, vocals) and Aronoff thrilling behind the drum kit.

Robert Randolph, Johnny Van Zant and Michael Anthony
perform at the 2015 National Association of Music
Merchants show at the Anaheim Convention Center on 

January 22, 2015 in Anaheim, California. 
(Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for NAMM)
The set opened with a version of Bo Diddley's "Who Do You Love?" highlighting Randolph on vocals, with his fiery slide work and Rossington's distinctive Southern rock guitar sound blending to give new life to the oft-covered classic. Next up came a rousing version of the Skynyrd hit "Gimme Three Steps," with Medlocke and Anthony sharing lead vocal duties. With the subsequent "The Breeze," the supergroup hit even harder; Randolph, Rossington and Medlocke all playing dramatic lead together. Keys also was able to showcase his fluid style on piano and the overall spirit of the set was most perfectly captured here. When the song ended the obviously-thrilled Randolph said: "This is a blast. Thank God for NAMM."
The night didn't end until the ensemble tore through a rocking version of "Sweet Home Alabama" and Van Halen's "Ain't Talking About Love."

Review by Robert Kinsler

Photos taken by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for NAMM, and Robert Kinsler

1 comment:

Robert Hanson said...

Must have been Rockin'! Good article Robert.