15’TH OF JUNE, 2011
LIVE AT CLUB NOSTURI, HELSINKI
REVIEW AND PICTURES BY MARKO SYRJALA
Cinderella is one of the most successful hard rock bands from the later 80’s. The band, fronted by multi-talented vocalist/guitarist Tom Keifer, formed in Philadelphia back in the early 80’s and their albums NIGHT SONGS, LONG COLD WINTER and HEARTBREAK STATION have sold millions of copies in U.S alone. Things started to change in the 90’s when drummer Fred Coury decided to leave the group. He was replaced by Kevin Valentine but it wasn’t long after before Keifer faced some serious problems with his voice and was forced to be out of commission for a few years. Things changed dramatically in the music world at that time and when the band finally released its fourth, and for now their latest album, STILL CLIMBING in 1994 it didn’t sell as expected and soon the band was dropped by its record company. Cinderella slowly disbanded in 1995. The re-union of the classic line up: Keifer, Coury, guitarist Jeff LaBar and bassist Eric Brittingham did happen in 1998 and since then band has been doing tours, mostly in the USA. The current tour, which celebrates bands 25th anniversary, brought the band to Finland for first time ever. For many fans this concert was a longtime dream come true and the band didn’t disappoint. The sold out Club Nosturi and its over 700 hard rock fans got what they wanted and it seemed that the players themselves were more than pleasantly surprised with the noisy feedback that the crowd gave them.
The show opened up with a pair of NIGHT SONGS album tracks: “Once Around the Ride” opened the game and it was then followed by one of Cinderella’s best known track “Shake Me”. The latter literally made the audience crazy and people sung along during the whole song. At first, Keifer clearly had some problems with his voice in but it got better soon and when band headed into acoustic “Heartbreak Station”, there was no sign of any problems left.
Many old classics were followed one after the other. “Somebody Save Me” especially managed to get the crowd crazy again. It did seem that overall people recognized the debut album songs better than the other stuff. Unlike most of the U.S. bands formed in the early 80’s, Cinderella has never been a glam rock band although they did look like one on the NIGHT SONGS cover. Their music is basically a bluesy rock mixed with some hard rock, melodic pop hooks, and there are even some country influences there and that’s what distinguishes them from other bands of that era. The band was arguably at its best with their third album HEARTBREAK STATION which is also Keifer’s personal favorite of his own catalog. In addition to that album’s title track the band also played “The More Things Change” and “Shelter Me” from that album and those songs were some of the finest moments of the show for sure.
Cinderella’s “mega ballads” did also worked extremely well. “Don’t Know What You’ve got (Till It’s Gone)” and “Nobody’s Fool” made at least all the females very happy in the audience whereas rockers “Gypsy Road” and bluesy “Long Cold Winter” were clearly more “men’s songs” in there.
All in all, this was a really entertaining performance and there were no weak parts on the show. It’s a fact that there are no actual virtuosos in the band but together they’re really tight and professional unit on stage. Over the past couple years there’s been lot of negative press and feedback about Keifer’s current vocal abilities, but it must be said that now his voice worked pretty well (if you don’t count the first two songs when he was having some problems there). Maybe his voice isn’t as raspy as it used to be back in the days but it’s still really recognizable and it fits really well for rockers and more bluesy stuff as well. The man also proved that he’s really a classy guitar player and a strong performer in every way, so there’s nothing to complain about here. Guitarist Jeff LaBar did a strong, energetic performance as well and it was funny to notice that man still looked almost the same as he did some twenty five years ago. Currently dark and short haired bassist Eric Brittingham did a solid, good work but stayed more in the background whereas drummer Fred Coury kept the beat going and also did lot of backing vocals. There’s also a “fifth member” in the band nowadays. Keyboard player Gary Corbett, who has previously played with KISS, Lou Gramm, and Joe Lynn Turner among others, has been a part of Cindrella’s touring lineup since early 90’s. It was great to hear live keyboards especially on HEARTBREAK STATION stuff where keys are in such a big role.
The only negative thing to say of this show was its short length. As a whole this show lasted only like 70 minutes and that’s not much nowadays. There are a bunch of songs which were now missing from the set list like “Push, Push” or “This One’s Rock’n Roll”. Also, why on earth didn’t the band play anything from their fourth album STILL CLIMBING? The album wasn’t a big commercial success in 1994 but there are still plenty of great tracks there like: “Blood from the Stone”, “Talk Is Cheap” and WAYNE’S WORLD II soundtrack song “Hot and Bothered”. Here’s a little hint here, it might help sales if you play those songs, right?
Who knows, maybe there’s another Cinderella album to be released after all and someday we’ll see this great band here again to support its new release? Can’t wait for that….
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