Tag’s Summer Stage
Big Flats, NY
Sunday September 24, 2017
Review/Photos: Joseph Suto
As far as outdoor concerts are concerned we have nothing but a long cold winter to look forward to, now that the summer season has come to an end. The Summer Stage hosted the last outdoor show for the 2017 season as Tom Keifer, Warrant and Quiet Riot brought the curtain down on another successful season at the Big Flats, NY venue.
The event marked just the second show back for Tom Keifer who had been put on vocal rest by his doctor in early July. He sounded no worse for wear during his near 70-minute set as he mixed in Cinderella classics alongside cuts from his fantastic solo album The Way Life Goes.
A rare play of “Still Climbing” got things started and was quickly followed by “Somebody Save Me” and the title track to Keifer’s solo album.
Keifer has assembled an excellent band with guitarist Tony Higbee, bassist Billy Mercer, Kory Myers on keys and Jarred Pope on drums. With his wife Savannah and Kendra Chantelle providing background vocals and percussion the band keeps sounding better each time out.
Songs that stood out were “It’s Not Enough” from his solo album and the two timeless classics “Nobody’s Fool” and “Coming Home”.
Perhaps the best tune of the night was “Shelter Me”. With its Stones-like groove it appears to have taken the lead as Cinderella’s biggest song despite hardly receiving much radio airplay over the past twenty years. At the time of its release in 1991 the grunge area was starting to take form reducing much of the allure of bands like Cinderella. The song clearly is one of the best live songs Keifer performs and the audience confirms that with a huge ovation.
With Keifer now getting back to performing it is time for him to start work on the next solo album. I know many are eagerly awaiting new music from the talented yet vastly underrated songwriter.
Warrant also appeared on the bill. The band features the original lineup with the exception of singer Robert Mason. The band played the usual hits and mixed in a few rare tracks. Seems as the bands set went on Mason’s vocals kept getting louder to the point it was too loud at down drowning out the band. Hard to enjoy a show when that happens.
Quiet Riot kicked things off. With drummer Frankie Banali assembling the latest version it seems he has found the best version since the loss of vocalist Kevin DuBrow. Joining Banali were bassist Chuck Wright and guitarist Alex Grossi. James Durbin who got exposure on American Idol has taken over on lead vocals and also appears on the bands newest studio album Road Rage. While the album is a departure from the classic songs the band is known for, it does provide a glimpse into what the new version of the band can offer. The one positive from Durbin during the show was his performance. He did not try to emulate Kevin DuBrow but performed the songs in a manner which he did them justice and he tried to be himself.
Overall it was a very satisfying show to top off an extremely hot day for this time of the year. Perhaps the venue can end every year with a similar type of show to celebrate the end of summer, even if it was technically fall.
Somebody Save Me
The Way Life Goes
It’s Not Enough
Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)
With A Little Help From My Friends
I Saw Red
The Hole In My Wall
Sometimes She Cries
So Damn Pretty (Should Be Against The Law)
Louder Harder Faster
Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Run For Cover
Slick Black Cadillac
Mama Weer All Crazee Now
Party All Night
Put Up Or Shut Up
Can’t Get Enough
The Wild And The Young
Let’s Get Crazy
Cum On Feel The Noize
Metal Health (Bang Your Head)