Donnie Iris & The Cruisers Deliver The Goods In Erie

Concert Review
Donnie Iris & The Cruisers
Saturday May 25, 2024
The Warner Theatre
Erie, PA
Review: Joseph Suto
Photos: Joseph Suto

Erie, PA welcomed the return of Donnie Iris and the Cruisers to the Warner Theatre this past Saturday night. Iris was diagnosed and treated for cancer in early 2023. He announced he is currently cancer free to the appreciative crowd which drew a huge applause. Iris is one of those freaks of nature even at 81 years old as he can still put on a performance better than many that are half his age.

The show started precisely at 7:30 pm as Iris and the Cruisers took the stage with “Agnes” and showed no signs of rust. This show had something for everyone whether it was your first time seeing them or umpteenth time. The energy exhibited by Iris alone was amazing. Here is a guy his age, just off cancer treatment just living in the moment and you can clearly see how he is relishing being up on that stage.

If you came to see some of the many gems Iris and his band are associated with, you came to the right place. Whether it was hearing “Do You Compute?”, The Wild Cherry classic “Play That Funky Music” or his best known song “Ah Leah”, they were all played to a tee. My personal fave “Love Is Like A Rock” featured a crowd singalong where Iris says you can do better and he was right as the audience got louder each time til he was satisfied.

Not to be in the spotlight all himself, Iris brought with him original Cruisers Mark Avsec on keyboards, Marty Lee Hoenes on guitar and drummer Kevin Valentine. Long time bassist Paul Goll was also on hand. These guys have been together so long making it easy to play gigs even when they haven’t done so in a while. Solid band that left the crowd in admiration and with much appreciation.

The show was a reviewers dream having the patrons out the doors of the prestigious Warner by 9:05. Wish all bands would follow suit. Very enjoyable show by King Cool and his band. These guys are no where near the finish line just yet.

Set List

That’s the Way Love Ought to Be
Do You Compute?
Tough World
Sweet Merilee
Play That Funky Music (Wild Cherry Cover)
Minnie the Moocher (The Ho De Ho Song)
Ridin’ Thunder
Ei Ei Ei O Polka
Love Is Like a Rock
Ah! Leah!
The Rapper / Hush (Jaggerz Cover)
With a Little Help From My Friends

About Joseph Suto

Location: Buffalo, NY Photographer/Reviewer
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