Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Cinderella and John Corabi Deliver An Awesome Night Of Music

There was something special in the air that night in Charlotte. You could just tell it was going to be a magical night. The Cinderella tour had pulled into town and the line outside started forming early in the afternoon. The small club was a far cry from “back in the day” when stadiums and huge arenas were being packed. Cinderella is celebrating their 25th anniversary on this tour and they prove that they haven’t missed a step.

The show started with John Corabi (Union, The Scream, Motley Crue) opening up for the band and getting the crowd warmed up. That’s a tough thing to do when all you have is a mic, a barstool and an acoustic guitar. Well, that an amazing passion for the art that you create. Corabi opened with “Love (I Don’t Need It Anymore)” from his former band Union which included former KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick. He also included a couple of Scream songs including the amazing “Father, Mother, Son” which received a huge response.

“Hooligan’s Holiday” was next from his much underrated and sometimes missing in action album that he recorded as lead vocalist of Motley Crue. He also included a very of the Crue’s “Home Sweet Home” that was so heartfelt and full of emotion that it was truly moving. Corabi’s set was just that; it was real and genuine and from the heart. He shared great stories with us and brought the entire club together for his short set.

Cinderella stormed the stage next and ripped into “Once Around The Ride” from their debut album Night Songs”. This was the first time that I had seen the band since lead singer Tom Keifer’s throat surgery. His voice did seem a little strained at first; as if he didn’t take the time to warm up, but all that soon changed. “Shake Me” was next and the crowd’s reaction was as if gas had been poured on a once small fire. Their biggest hit being played two songs into their set has to speak volumes. Everyone knew at that point why there was something special in the air that night. We were about to be blown away by a band whose decade is seen as one full of bad songs and bad fashion choices.

The set list for the remainder of the night read like a Cinderella’s greatest Hits album. “Somebody Save” me brought back memories of watching MTV to see the great music videos that Cinderella always made. I have to add that the songs did not sound dated; they had a very fresh sound to them and the boys delivered a solid performance on each and every one. Tom commanded that center stage and kept the banter to a minimum, but the rock and roll output to a maximum.

The stage went dark and the roadies rolled out a beautiful piano and the lighters went up in the air. Yes, a few cell phones did too, but it doesn’t compare to a sea of lighters. The crowd knew that Cinderella’s power ballad “Don’t Know What You Got (Til It’s Gone)” was next and it was such a great moment when Tom sat down at that piano and began the song. The band left the stage, but returned a short time later to the roar of the frenzied crowd. “Long Cold Winter” and “Shelter Me” were the encore song choices and the band then did a bow to the crowd and thanked them for 25 years of good times.

What we saw on this special night was not a band just going through the motions. They seemed hungrier than I remember when I saw them open for Bon Jovi back in 1987. It was a show heavy in substance and light in style. One problem with so many bands from that era was that they were just the opposite. Cinderella did have a great lightshow that night, but there were no props used that night. It was a night of pure musicianship and talent.

There are a lot of bands out on the road these days who act as if we, the fans, owe them something. They stand on the stage like mannequins and they seem like they are bored. These are both young bands and bands who have been around long enough to know better. Today’s economy stinks and for some of these people to fork out money for a concert ticket and not get their money’s worth is downright disrespectful. With that being said, I feel like I owe John Corabi and Cinderella more than what the ticket sold for because that was a steal!

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