BACH IN THE SADDLE OF EUROPE TOUR 2009
Former SKID ROW singer Sebastian Bach returned to Finland after 18 months. Last year Sebastian and his band got so many excellent reviews and overall positive feedback that it wasn’t a big surprise that they wanted to return here as soon as he did. This current BACH IN THE SADDLE IN EUROPE –tour consisted of nine shows, and when three out of those nine shows were now in Finland, so there must have been such high expectations here. Last year Sebastian played Tampere at the SAUNA OPEN AIR festival, and so now it was time to find out how successful he will be here on his own?
Reports said that the previous night’s concert in Turku went quite well. There was attendance between 500-750 people, but it was a Saturday night, and Sundays are sometimes challenging to show dates in Finland. Unfortunately, that thing turned into reality, and there were only about 300-350 people in Tampere’s audience.
The band took the stage about 09:15 PM, and the show started with a thunderous version of the AEROSMITH classic “Back in the Saddle.” The song, which is also successfully recorded for Sebastian’s latest solo release, ANGEL DOWN, worked out fine, and Sebastian raged across the stage like a maniac. Old SKID ROW gems:” Big Guns” and “Slave to the Grind” followed right away, and especially the later one was rushed out with such an energy that makes most other bands sound and look like novices here. In every aspect, Sebastian Bach was in top form. His voice was sharp as razor blades, and he could still reach all the high notes without any problems. He had more energy and stage charisma than most frontmen can only dream of, but unfortunately, the rest of his band were a ways behind him on every level.
There’s the newest member in the “family” first, Nick Sterling. Despite being only 19 years old, he’s already been playing and sharing stages with some of the biggest names like Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Buckcherry, Aerosmith, and Cheap Trick. He has also been nominated for the “Outstanding Young Rock Musician” award at the age of fourteen, and he’s released three solo albums on his own. He’s capable of playing almost any instrument but is he the right to play with Sebastian Bach? There’s no denying that he’s an incredibly talented guy, and there is nothing wrong with his playing, but his stage appearance doesn’t work out here at all. His predecessor Mike “Metal” Chlasciak (Halford, Painmuseum), is sorely missed here…
Nick Sterling and Rob DeLuca
The same goes with bassist Rob De Luca. There’s nothing wrong with him there, but unfortunately, he and second guitarist Johnny Chromatic are just a bunch of hired guns who do their job, end of the story. Drummer Bobby Jarzombek (Halford, Riot) did an excellent stable job here. Still, somehow there wasn’t such a passion in his playing than last year’s RIOT shows or HALFORD’s triumphant performance in 2002 in Sweden Rock. It was more than clear that this is Sebastian Bach’s solo band, and this is his show.
The setlist was a great combination of old SKID ROW classics and new songs from ANGEL DOWN. Although ANGEL DOWN is generally a solid album, there are some fillers on the album. When the band rushed into heavier tracks like “Stuck Inside” or “American Metalhead,” it caused nothing but invasion towards the beer area but on the other hand “(Love Is) a Bitchslap” and “By My Side” received outstanding response here. Like said before, the set included enough SKID ROW material to keep most of the crowd satisfied, but why on earth they only did two songs from SLAVE TO THE GRIND? Where was “Riot Act,” and why wasn’t anything included from Bach’s final SKID ROW album SUBHUMAN RACE? The latter is an album that many do hate, but there are still some songs like “Frozen” and “Breakin’ Down,” which would be suitable additions to the current set? Almost forget to mention that band did also perform a brand new track called “Live to Life.” The new song sounded quite similar to any ANGEL DOWN material, but it was perhaps a little bit more melodic in the right way, more like 80’s way?
All in all, this was generally a good, energetic, and enjoyable show. Sebastian is still one of the best frontmen out there. Hopefully, this band will get lots more shows under its belt. It would also be more than interesting to hear more new material soon as well!
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