Dokken – Return To The East Live

Dokken - Return To The East LiveReviewed: July 2018
Released: April 20th, 2018 
Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
Reviewer: John Haseltine

By now you all already know that the original members of Dokken of the classic ‘80’s line-up reunited in 2016 for a string of live shows in Japan. A reunion, if any of you can remember “would never happen” according to Mr. Don himself. Well, we all know now that this get together was/is nothing more than a cash grab. A very large and undisclosed amount of money was put on the table and was accepted.
I am a fan of the early Dokken line-up. I had the chance to see them live several times and also will never give up my Dokken vinyl. Well, at least not the first five albums. When I heard of them getting back together, I must admit that I was a bit excited about the fact of some new material and possibly a chance of seeing them once again. Well, once again, that part is only a bit of what we get. And something now I’m not too sure I am all that excited about anymore.

New material wise, the band did put together a pretty cool track, ”It’s Another Day” which has all the nuances of a classic Dokken tune that has a sound reminiscent to their glory days. After that we get the live stuff. And for me, that’s where it goes downhill.

As you can see in the track listing, yes, most of the classic hits are played. What I cannot seem to get past is the overall lack of enthusiasm by Mr. Don himself. I do realize in a live setting his voice has changed over the years, but while listening to the songs, it is almost as if he sounds like there is a bit of resentment being up there with this lineup. It’s almost as if he is just rolling through the motions because the money is already in the bank.

The band sounds pretty solid as they should. Maybe a bit tempo deprived but solid nonetheless. And with the amount, whatever it was, one would also think that when they knew they were recording a live album, maybe they should have had a bit better sound quality. I sure hope it sounded better in person then it does on this disc.
Maybe it’s me I don’t know. Like I said, I was really looking forward to hearing this for some time prior to it actually coming across my desk. Now I am glad I waited. For you diehard fans, it will be a nice addition to your Dokken collection.

A cool listen, but a little disappointing to say the least. I will still be curious to see if the rumors of an all new album with this lineup will be any different. By the sounds of the new studio track, it very well could be.

1. It’s Another Day (New Studio Track)
2. Kiss of Death
3. The Hunter
4. Unchain the Night
5. When Heaven Comes Down
6. Breakin’ the Chains
7. Into the Fire
8. Dream Warriors
9. Tooth and Nail
10. Alone Again (Intro)
11. Alone Again
12. It’s Not Love
13. In My Dreams
14. Heaven Sent (Acoustic Studio bonus track)
15. Will the Sun Rise (Acoustic Studio bonus track)

Don Dokken – Vocals, Guitars (rhythm)
Mick Brown – Drums
George Lynch – Guitars (lead)
Jeff Pilson – Bass, Vocals, Keyboards, Bass


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