Released: 2009, Frontiers Records
Here we are, 24 years after Cinderella burst onto the music scene with their debut album, NIGHT SONGS and unbelievably, the band is still alive and kicking with its classic line up. They may have been through their share of ups and downs since Jon Bon Jovi discovered them in 1986, but despite the difficulties, band leader Tom Keifer has kept the band alive and viable through a yearly touring regimen. The glory years of #1 videos, hit singles, and platinum albums may be well behind them now, but Cinderella is still a strong draw on the concert circuit. So it’s fitting that the band has documented their 2009 U.S. tour with a new live album.
Now, when it comes to Cinderella, you pretty much know what you’re going to hear on a live album – the greatest hits like “Nobody’s Fool”, “Shake Me”, and “Don’t Know What You’ve Got (Till It’s Gone)”. Sure enough, the band certainly sticks to what they know as nine of the thirteen songs were released as singles. The rest are also well-known songs, the lone exception being the title track from 1994’s underrated STILL CLIMBING album. You can’t blame the band for playing the fan favourites, but it would have been nice to hear some exploration of the catalogue, like “All Comes Down”, “Talk is Cheap”, “The More Things Change”, or “Hell on Wheels”.
As for the performances, there’s nothing to complain about musically. The band is as spot-on as they ever were. Vocally, it’s clear that Tom Keifer’s voice is somewhat shot. He gives it his all, but it’s sadly noticeable that age and multiple vocal surgeries have weakened his once strong delivery, to the point where it is blatantly distracting at times. Obviously there is no Cinderella without Keifer, but it’s unfortunate that he’s lost some of his former vocal power. On the whole, there’s a fire missing from the performance and it almost seems like the band is going through the motions. Contrast that with Tesla’s recent exceedingly powerful live album and MOHEGAN SUN comes up a bit lacking.
Cinderella fans will no doubt love this live document regardless of critical comments (the band has always been somewhat impervious to critics anyway) and it IS great to hear these songs again. If you buy into what Cinderella is selling, then by all means check out LIVE AT THE MOHEGAN SUN and have a great time – just be aware that there are better live albums out there.