Kenny Olson & The Motown Showdown brought the party to The Token Lounge along with Eva Under Fire and The Beggars.
15-Sep-2016: The night was hosted by the Doc of Rock Doug Podell, 94.7 WCSX, and John Bobby/JJM Management.
The Beggars opened the show, immediately starting the party with “Right On Time.” The band has been a staple on the Detroit scene for a few years now, having toured the US, released three albums, and opened for acts such as Van Halen and Steel Panther.
Fronted by vocalist Steven Tuthill, the band includes Marco Delicato (guitar), Jim Faulkner (drums), and Pookie Grech (bass). Their set was full of energy from start to finish. Even those who had never heard of the band before sang and danced along to the outrageously theatric music.
Tuthill, clad in his signature suit and sunglasses, was a whirlwind. He spent the entire set dancing erratically and throwing himself, as well as his mic, across the stage. His jigs and crazy antics were perfect for the fast pace of their groovy, rowdy songs. The band’s instruments bring in the 70s chugging style that gets you moving. Shooting out hits like “Shut Up And Dance,” “Us Dudes (Wee Get So Rad),” and “Frk (Make Up & Dancing Shoes),” a Beggars live show is always entertaining.
After finishing their set, the crowd cheered for more and Doug Podel insisted on an encore. The Beggars happily obliged and treated fans to the quick paced “2016.” This fun loving band embodies everything you love about rock n’ roll. It was a fantastic way to start the night.
Their self-titled album is available on their website.
Eva Under Fire hit the stage next. This alternative rock band hails from Detroit’s underground rock scene and took their hometown stage by storm. They are celebrating the release of their 2016 album, Anchors.
Lead by powerful vocalist Amanda Lyberg, with riff-laden hooks of the guitar work from Rob Lyberg and Chris Slapnix, as well as bassist Jeff Llewellyn and drummer Corey Newsom holding up the rhythm section.
From the first heavy hitter “Betrayer,” this band commanded and earned the crowd’s respect. Besides their notable vocalist, the band plays with masterful talent mixed with a raw and brutal intensity. Their passion and heart bleed through each song, and their energy is contagious. Their music combines pop, rock, alternative, and metal sounds, blended in a tight arrangement that has become Eva Under Fire’s niche.
Amanda Lyberg delivered fierce, soaring vocals, best demonstrated on the gut-wrenching ballad “Drift” and the juggernaut that is “Annabelle.” The band has a blast on stage together offering up a high-powered punch with “War.” Amanda Lyberg and Slapnix thrashed around the stage during the Skid Row’s “Youth Gone Wild.” From start to finish, Eva Under Fire was fantastic, filling The Token Lounge with adrenaline and leaving the crowd wanting more.
And finally, with the crowd packed in, Kenny Olson & The Motown Showdown took the stage. Huck Johns (vocals) came on clapping, revving up the crowd, while Johnny “Wolf” Abel (bass) and Shannon Boone (drummer of Fuel) took their spots. Kenny Olson strode onto the stage to thunderous applause, cool with guitar in hand, ready to rock. The four were the central act of the night, reuniting after many years to treat fans to an amazing show.
Olson is best known as Kid Rock’s 11-year guitarist and founding member of his Twisted Brown Trucker Band, as well as the ground-breaking rock band with The Kenny Olson Cartel. He has been described by Keith Richards as, “one of the best rock guitarists on the scene right now,” and has shared the stage with artists like Aerosmith, Run DMC, Metallica, Buddy Guy, and Paul Rogers. Olson has also been part of many projects, including those for the Hendrix family (Experience Hendrix), Les Paul (Les Paul & Friends), Chaka Khan, Faith Evans, Sheryl Crow, and Billy Cox, and countless more.
Olson made the show at The Token more of a house party than a concert. Guest musicians joined them throughout the entire set; the night was more of a reunion of friends coming together for a huge jam session. Everything was free flowing; they played what they wanted to play, conversing and laughing with each other and the crowd. Guests included legends Jimmie Bones (of Kid Rock’s Twisted Brown Trucker Band) on keyboard, Tino Gross (of Howling Diablos) on guitar and vocals, Kymberli Wright and Tosha Owens on backup vocals, David Winans II, Mike Smith (Tom Keifer) on guitar, Gabe Gonzalez, and Joe Bass on bass; the night was truly star-studded.
The usually quiet Olson showed off his vocal work with “Phoenix Will Rise,” treating the crowd to his soaring and gruff vocals, perfectly accompanied by Wright and Owens’ sweet voices and Bones on keyboard. The legendary Joe Bass come on for the soulful “Down By The River.” The band also treated the crowd to a cover of Dick Wagner’s “I Never Cry,” joking that if anyone screwed it up, it better not be Bass himself. Tino Gross joined the stage for “Snakebit and Wandering,” a preview from Jimmie Bones’ album.
Olson is a true artist and a cool, laid back musician who lets his smoking guitar work do the talking for him. Combining sweet R&B grooves, heavy rock, sweeping instrumental jams, and the infectious beats and lyrical romps that had the entire crowd dancing all night, it was a fantastic night of celebrating Detroit’s rock n’ roll music scene