Krokus @ B.B. King Blues Club (9/11/2005)

Krokus 0321

Artist: Krokus
Venue: B.B. King Blues Club
Opener: The Lizards
Date: 9/11/2005
Label: Reality Entertainment

On a day that is not always easy to get a New Yorker to do anything I decided to attend the appearance of Krokus at B.B. King Blues Club. I felt it would be a good way to find some amount of positive on this sad Memorial. It would also be good to lend some support to a band that has not been to our Country in 18 years. The band Krokus had a number of hits in the big 80’s Metal heyday and with their release of the live CD “Fire And Gasoline” they had reunited and planned some touring. Since that time however, guitarist Fernando Von Arb had decided to retire from the touring world and this show would see Krokus with a completely different line up that would be entirely new to this US crowd. Singer Marc Storace really has held his voice up over the years and can still belt out the notes, but I will address this in a few minutes. I want to bring a little bit of information on the opening band first.

Kicking off the evening of music would be The Lizards who I recently caught as openers for Mountain a couple of months ago. This is an excellent band and to those who have never heard of them before they combine classic Rock and Blues and that makes them a very interesting band to see in concert. Their material calls to mind Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin and tonight they would be performing some of their music from the release “Cold Blooded Kings”. In addition to this they band would be testing out some new material. I felt the guys were in good form and very well received by the audience. The new material they played is being worked out and honed for recording on their next album. I found these tracks to be on the same par of quality as the stuff I already knew. Members of the group are Patrick Klein (guitar), Randy Pratt (bass, harmonica), Bobby Rondinelli (drums) and Mike DeMeo (vocals, keyboards). All are fantastic players, and Bobby is one killer drummer. So fluid in his style of playing and yet so very powerful. Mike DeMeo has an amazing Robert Plant like voice and really does carry this from the recording to the performance. Klein has a warm guitar sound and great vocals that help the music while Pratt not only works the bass like an extension of his own body adds some harmonica to the mix. I felt their performance was also a nice change of pace to the Metal nostalgia that Krokus would soon be on stage delivering. I recommend looking into them especially if you found some of this information to your interest.

By the time Krokus hit the stage it seemed as though a few more people had arrived and that’s always a good thing for any performer to see. When Marc came out it was explosive as he is a true professional in every sense of the word. In addition to his being a very energetic guy he still had a lot of the fire in his notes remaining from so long ago. Marc was one of the original screamers from back in the day and it’s not easy to do that in any regard much less over 20 years later. I have to say that he even looked good, and not falling apart after years of touring as some others in his position might have had happen. When he talked to the audience he had their complete attention and he was so very appreciative of their support after all this time. Most of the audience was singing along and I was as well to the numbers that I recognized. I was always pretty much the casual fan of the group with the exception of the classic “Headhunter” and “The Blitz” albums that I still have on vinyl and hoped to hear a good sampling of the classic albums I have owned for so long. As I glanced on the set list I realized that most of the tracks with one or two exceptions were featured on the CD “Fire & Gasoline”, and it’s a recommendation for any Krokus fan most assuredly. The band played pretty much everything that I as a music fan or the classic Metal wanted to hear but you will all be surprised that they did not do “Ballroom Blitz”. That amazed me for it was all over the radio when they covered it and so many people thought this was an original Krokus tune more than The Sweet song that it actually was. Krokus rendition of this number was classy and I would have liked to see it performed.

The Krokus lineup of 2005 consists of guitarist Mandy Meyer who has stepped in for Fernando Von Arb. Meyer was apparently a member of the group in 1981 and I have to say that he did not look it from my vantage point. Dominique Favez was also on guitar and Tony Castell the bass. Drumming was ably handled by Patrick Aeby. With the exception of Meyer the entire group seemed to be the folks who recorded that live CD. All of them very talented musicians who had a lot of energy onstage though the whole set. It was definitely a good show with solid music all night long but if I could draw any negatives I would have to say that I was a little disappointed in the attendance. I took into account that it was 9-11 and a lot of people don’t come out on this day. It was also a Sunday and the new album has not been easy to find in the US. Still the almost 200 folks that did decide to come and rock did just that. I have to say that everyone I spoke to had been a fan for a long time and with an almost 2 hour set of 17 songs Krokus made certain to not disappoint anyone.

Set List:
1. Night Wolf
2. Eat The Rich
3. Long Stick Goes Boom
4. Fire
5. American Woman
6. Heatstrokes
7. Bad Boys
8. Screaming In The Night
9. Easy Rocker
10. Mad World
11. Stayed Awake All Night
12. Rock City
13. Rock N Roll Tonite
14. Celebration
15. Midnite Maniac
16. Headhunter
17. Rock The Block

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