Not even the rain could put a damper on Day 2 of Rock USA with Judas Priest, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Whitesnake, Dokken, and Road Trip taking the stage.
Judas Priest was out with a vengeance, touring to support their latest album titled â€œRedeemer Of Souls,â€ bringing some heavy metal thunder to a rain soaked crowd.
With heavy favorites like â€œPainkiller,â€ â€œHellion/Electric Eye,â€ Victim Of Changes,â€ â€œHell Bent For Leather,â€ â€œJawbreaker,â€ and the new â€œRedeemer Of Souls,â€ the stalwarts of metal had the crowd of metal maniacs going wild.
They also provided the audience with a dose of their hits with songs like â€œTurbo Lover,â€ â€œLiving After Midnight,â€ etc.
A staple of every Priest show is vocalist Rob Halford riding his Harley on stage, and he did, as he does so often before the opening riffs to â€œBreaking The Law.â€
The band was tight and Rob Halford, Glen Tipton, Richie Faulkner, Scott Travis, and Ian Hill, delivered the goods as they plodded through a solid set that pleased the faithful and left the crowd of young and old asking for more.
The Priest responded with an encore and ended the night with their classic â€œLiving After Midnight.â€ A fitting end to Day 2 at Rock USA.
Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd took the stage next with former Blackfoot guitarist Rickey Medlocke on guitar. The heavenâ€™s opened up but in spite of a rain soaked stage the band played on to a very receptive audience.
Medlockeâ€™s guitar tech ran out on stage a few times to wipe down his guitar as the band churned through their hits like â€œSaturday Night Special,â€ â€œWhatâ€™s Your Name,â€ â€œGimme Three Steps,â€ â€œCall Me The Breeze,â€ â€œSimple Man,â€ and more. Johnny Van Zant dedicated â€Simple Manâ€ to the marines who fell victim to a deadly shooting in Chatanooga, TN earlier in the day.
Often called Southern rockâ€™s “Stairway To Heaven,â€ no Skynyrd show would be complete without their blockbuster hit and crowd favorite â€œFreebird.â€ The crowd asked for â€œFreebirdâ€ and they obliged. Southern rock had been welcomed to Northeastern Wisconsin and was here to stay.
Whitesnake took the stage next and opened with the scorching “Burnâ€ with a smiling Coverdale making an appearance in time to belt out the lyrics to the Purple classic.
The weather wasnâ€™t cooperating and it started to rain but the band played on through a variety of Whitesnake rockers like â€œStill Of The Night,â€ â€œGive Me All Your Love,â€ â€œHere I go Again,â€ and also a few brilliantly redone Deep Purple classics like â€œYou Fool No Oneâ€ and â€œMistreated.â€
Some personal disappointments was the much loved track “The Gypsy,” from the Deep Purple album, “Stormbringer,â€ and now Whitesnakeâ€™s Purple album, not making the set list. Also missing was Michael Devinâ€™s awesome harmonica intro being dropped from â€œYou Fool No One,â€ all probably due to time constraints.
Coverdale has weathered time well and backed by the very talented musicianship of Joel Hoekstra, and Reb Beach on guitars, Michael Devin on bass, veteran Tommy Aldridge on drums, and keyboard player Michele Luppi, the band still puts on a stellar show.
It was time to start rockinâ€™ with multi platinum selling recording artist Dokken. Surviving decades of recording and touring the band comprised of vocalist Don Dokken, guitarist Jon Levin, skinsman â€˜Wildâ€™ Mick Brown, and bassist/vocalist Mark Boals, hasnâ€™t lost a step.
Playing a slew of their hits like â€œKiss of Death,â€ â€œInto the Fire,â€ â€œBreaking the Chains,â€ â€œAlone Again,â€ â€œToo High to Fly,â€ â€œTooth and Nail,â€ and more, they had the early afternoon crowd head banging and singing along.
Northeast Wisconsin’s very own favorites Road Trip kicked of the festivities on day 2 of Rock USA playing a set catered to the familiar crowd. They opened their set with an original track titled â€œTwo Days, taken from their cd Please Disturb followed by crowd pleaser “BlackBetty,â€ by Ram Jam. Other songs in the set included â€œBest Day Of My Life,â€ by All American Authors, â€œBring Me To Life,â€ by Evanescence, and two more originals which included â€œSee Me,â€ also taken from their cd Please Disturb, and a new heavy sounding and well written track titled â€œ(Falling) Into Pieces,â€ which is yet to be released. They ended the set with a rocking rendition of Black Sabbathâ€™s â€œWar Pigs.â€
With a solid performance, lead vocalists Amy Joe Doty and Richie Plath, lead guitarist Jason Busse, rhythm guitarist DJ Doty, bass guitarist Flap Welschand, and drummer Andy Welsch helped set the tone for the rest of the bands on the bill that night.
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