Heart of Steel: Concert Reviews

The Downtown

Review By Keith MacDonald

I hadn't seen this band since their tour with The Rolling Stones 'Steel Wheels' tour in 1989. They had just released their debut album 'Vivid' and there was quite a buzz going around with this band. They were riding the success of their hit single 'Cult of Personality' and guitarist Vernon Reid was getting a lot of attention as the newest 'Guitar God' in an era that saw more than few outstanding guitarists. 

They were a great band then and are still now. It had been about ten years or so since this band had been together as we saw each member do separate projects. They finally wised up and regrouped releasing a new album via the indie metal powerhouse label Sanctuary Records. Like Bret Michaels of Poison always says, bands need to keep releasing new material instread of relyimng on their catalog of hits from years past. After listening to Collidiscope, Vernon and company have done just that. The show at The Downtown was a rescheduled show from December. Usually when a show is changed for wjatever reason, you tend to lose a piece of your audience. Yet the crowd was very good, near capacity. 

The band did an incredible job combining their hits with some of their newer songs which can be hard to do. Their blend of hard rock, metal and funk is great. Vernon's guitar work was clean and smooth. Their bigger hits, 'Cult of Personality', 'Type' and 'Glamour Boys' went well with newer tracks like 'In Your Name', 'A Question of When' and 'Tomorrow Never Knows'. 

The only problem I saw in the show was the absence of 'Open Letter' and that political angle. Singer Cory Glover wore a 'F**k Bush' shirt and Vernon threw out a few anti-Bush messages. Politics and music, in my mind, don't mix. I was there to see a great rock band, not go to some political rally.

Set List 
Crosstown Traffic 
Song Without Sin 
Middle Man 
A Question of When 
Operation Mind Control 
Go Away 
In Your Name 
Glamour Boys 
Sacred Ground 
Ignorance Is Bliss 
Elvis Is Dead 
Cult of Personality 
Tomorrow Never Knows