Tag Archives: mike tramp

Win To See Stryper In NYC On 7/13/2013

Poster - Stryper at BB Kings - 2013
Click Poster To Purchase Tickets

The Details: The Soldiers Under God’s Command are back in the New York Groove and will be bringing their great live sound to the venerated B.B. King Blues Club once more. It’s always great to have the attack of the yellow and black keep us fans on a positive Metal path and not only is the band supporting their brand new “Second Coming” album, but they will be having White Lion’s own Mike Tramp as their special guest opener. Surely this is going to be a fun night of music. Now, add to this coolness the absolute levels of awesome of the B.B. King Blues Club powers that be who asked PiercingMetal to hold this contest and put some people in the room for free. This excites me almost as much as the fact that the band possesses all original members. Read more on how to participate.
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“The Definitive Rock Collection” by White Lion

Artist: White Lion
Title: “The Definitive Rock Collection”
Label: Rhino Records
Release Date: 1/23/2007
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 4/5

Formed in 1983 by singer Mike Tramp and guitarist Vito Bratta; White Lion was a band that would rule the Melodic Hard Rock scene of the eighties. Together with drummer Greg D’Angelo and bassist James Lomenzo they would become darlings of the MTV sector with a number of their videos and while often associated with the “Hair Metal” focus that was prevalent at the time, would offer fans deeper musical content than many of their contemporaries. Theirs was the perfect formula for success with the pinup looking front man in Tramp and the guitar god in Bratta and this often found the pair being compared to the likes of Van Halen members Dave Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen. The offering of more socially relevant songs as opposed to what many of their contemporaries would be doing allowed the band to stand out a little more from the general pack. Yes they had some rousing anthems for love like “Tell Me” or “Love Don’t Come Easy”, but there was also “Little Fighter” which referenced a Greenpeace ship and “When The Children Cry”, their ballad that tugged at the heartstrings. With White Lion you got deeper stuff than that which focused on drinking and partying hard. Growing up in Brooklyn at a certain time allowed me to remember quite clearly how exciting this band was on stage and how well they were received by the audience. You felt as though you were a part of something special with White Lion and while I grew into much heavier stuff I always held them in special regard in my musical heart.
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“Anthology ’83-‘89” by White Lion

Artist: White Lion
Title: “Anthology ’83-‘89”
Label: Deadline Records
Release Date: 6/27/2006
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 2/5

As someone who grew up in Brooklyn and was a frequent patron of L’Amour the Rock Capitol, I felt that the idea of a White Lion Anthology would be something to look forward to and also something that would be really enjoyable. The reason behind this was because to many people like me White Lion were the hometown heroes and when they played the club you could not get in anywhere. It was over the top Hard Rock power with one of the best guitarists you could hope to hear; Vito Bratta was our own Eddie Van Halen and actually Mike Tramp was our David Lee Roth in most cases. Drumming was Greg D’Angelo and bass was handled by James Lomenzo with the result being some truly memorable Hard Rock with a commercial edge that gained them tremendous success. The band released three studio albums and a best of compilation on Atlantic Records and thus far we have not seen these albums remastered. This fact is a shame since the band also had a strong presence on MTV and made the label quite a bit of money. The Anthology would have been perfect if it actually included music from these 3 albums but instead we get unreleased versions and outtakes. While I am not sure of the reasoning behind this, it seems clearly obvious that perhaps no access was granted to the original music in order to release it in this fashion. This would only leave the outtakes and demos for the tracks available. The oddest part of the release was its total exclusion of real versions of the bands debut, “Fight To Survive”. While “Pride” was the groups major label debut, the smaller independent label Grand Slamm released the bands true first album and it was killer. We do have acoustic versions of songs from this release but they are terrible, and the re-do of “Broken Heart” was beyond dismal. It especially took the fire out of the original song, so you can imagine how bad an outtake of this disaster could be. I cannot honestly recommend this CD for anyone more than the staunchest of band supporters and even they should be warned about it. The inside foldout (there’s not even a book with a good amount of photos to enjoy on this) finds Tramp lining out where blocks of songs came from.
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“Metal Mania: Stripped Across America” by Various Artists

Artist: Various Artists
Title: “Metal Mania: Stripped Across America”
Label: Sidewinder Records
Release Date: 2/21/2006
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 2.5/5

Filmed at both the record release party as well as during the actual tour comes the “Metal Mania: Stripped Across America” DVD. The idea was a pretty good one, and played off the once popular MTV Unplugged idea by taking a number of classic 80’s performers and putting them on tour together. The tour featured such performers as Kip Winger, Great White, Slaughter and Stephen Pearcy (former Ratt) among several others and each musician would play acoustic versions of their hits. I was sad to not attend this tour when it came through town but one cannot hit every show which makes this DVD of some interest to people who had the same thing happen to them. Yet as I looked to it and hoped to find a comprehensive document of the performances, I admit that I felt let down by only finding a single DVD and one that ran a mere 12 songs. The DVD medium is taking over a large amount of ground on the CD and I felt that a lot more could have been included to make this something incredible for the buyer. Most of the performances are top-notch and I have to lend some kudos to Jani Lane, as the former singer of Warrant does a terrific job especially. Lane has had some well-publicized fall-downs and I think the quality of his playing should help him realize that life’s obstacles can be overcome. Slaughter performs their staple track as a full band which to me is not quite stripped but sure sounds good. Winger’s two of their three hits are performed and he does this with no one helping him but his twelve string guitar.
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