Mike Tramp Puts White Lion Back Into The Spotlight

Concert Review
Mike Tramp
Marcus Nand
Samuel’s Grande Manor
Williamsville, NY
Thursday June 1, 2023
Review and Photos: Joseph Suto

It had been ten years since I last saw Mike Tramp when he played out at the now defunct Braun’s Concert Cove. Thursday marked the return of Tramp as he played at the esteemed Samuel’s Grande Manor. Accompanied by guitarist Marcus Nand, Tramp proceeded to play the songs and hits of his old band White Lion. Considering it was just the two of them they did play electric with a backing track that featured drums and bass to enhance the sound.

Opening with “Lonely Nights” from the double platinum album Pride, Tramp set the table as to what was to come. Some of the high points of the evening were “Tell Me”, “Broken Heart” and the gem “Little Fighter”. Tramp has written perhaps one of the greatest lyrics from the 80s with “Little Fighter” when he wrote “without a weapon in your hand you came to fight a war”. Of course he also performed the two top-10 smashes “When The Children Cry” and “Wait”.

Tramp recently released Songs of White Lion an album that re-imagines several choice cuts from the White Lion catalog. For the most part he played the songs close as he could but wanted the vocals to match how he can sing them now. Overall an excellent album for any White Lion fan or even if you are new to the band.

A few small things I didn’t care for about the show was how “Goin’ Home Tonight”, one of the best songs, which was included on the latest album, was not played during the show. He also left out “Lady of the Valley”, another stellar song. In it’s place we got “Radar Love”. Now I feel Tramp does the best version of this song but because he changed the song it did not come across the way I was hoping. Other than that it was a very solid show and I must also commend guitarist Nand whose smooth playing came across beautifully.

Sadly out of all the reunions of the many bands from the hair band days, White Lion was perhaps the biggest of the few who never did reunite. Tramp has often said that once James (LoMenzo) and Greg (D’Angelo) left it wasn’t the same. The sad part is everyone is still alive but since a reunion is unimaginable, thankfully Tramp manages to help keep these great songs alive by going out and performing them every few years. Kudos to Tramp as for his next U.S. tour he will be bringing a full band where the fans can really enjoy the full sound of all the White Lion gems. Hopefully at that point we will get some other songs in the set.

Set List

Lonely Nights
Tell Me
Broken Heart
Cry For Freedom
Till Death Due Us Part
Little Fighter
Love Don’t Come Easy
Living On The Edge
When The Children Cry
Radar Love
Farewell To You

Opening the show was Buffalo Music Hall of Famer, Jim Crean and his band Hair Nation. They played this show acoustically which was a different format for these guys. They played several songs from their usual arsenal and even did a great version of Cheap Trick’s “The Flame” Check these guys out if they play your area.

About Joseph Suto

Location: Buffalo, NY Photographer/Reviewer
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