Rock the Arena II

Had a good time at the Rock The Arena II show on Saturday. Lou Gramm canceled and was replaced by ‘Billy Morris and the Sunset Strip’ at the top of the show. Billy also filled in on guitar for Trixter. Is there nothing that man can’t do? He’s the real hardest working man in Rock and Roll!

Found new respect for Jack Russell’s Great White. Well, Jack himself. It looked like a band was about to start playing until somebody’s grandpa ran up on stage in full-hippie clothes and then absolutely KILLED IT! What an amazing range for an old dude. Hell, for anyone. And a great showman as well. Rock on, Jack.

Billy Morris might have lost some ground to Tom Keifer. Talking about an every-man. Electric and acoustic guitar, lead guitar, piano, vocals and even an electric slide guitar. And such choreography. As soon as one song finished he had someone handing him another guitar or mic stand for the next song. Never missed a beat. A real rock star.

I had my reservations about Cheap Trick. The only real ‘Classic Rock’ band among all the ‘hair metal’ bands. And they’ve got to be, what, almost 70 years old? Holy Shit what a show! Their years of experience really showed and it was obvious they weren’t holding anything back for some arena show in podunk-Ohio. They rocked like it was a stadium show. During their encore they got the guys from the earlier bands onstage to do backing vocals during Dream Police and Surrender.

It was a really long day. But I’m glad I went. It was my first time seeing many of these bands live. While we’re all a bit older, there’s was no stopping the rock on Saturday. A really fun day.

The lineup:

  • BILLY MORRIS
  • TRIXTER
  • AUTOGRAPH
  • VIXEN
  • JACK RUSSELL’S GREAT WHITE
  • STEPHEN PEARCY
  • QUIET RIOT
  • WARRANT
  • CINDERELLA’S TOM KEIFER
  • LOU GRAMM
  • CHEAP TRICK