For the first post-tragedy concert in Las Vegas, Skid Row and Queensryche provided an unshakeable rock show and community solidarity to an otherwise somber week.
The Skid Row/Queensryche show on October 7, 2017 at Sunset Station Hotel and Casino in Henderson, NV had been planned for months.
Of course, no one knew that just one week prior an outdoor country music festival about 10 miles away would become the scene of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. It would be impossible to forget this at any show since that night, let alone the first outdoor concert in Las Vegas since it occurred. Yet, even despite this, the show at Sunset Station was sold out and the crowd, although somber, was still the rock audience we know and love. Music always wins.
The concert began with the Las Vegas Color Guard gracing the stage with American and Nevada flags and a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem. This seemed most appropriate considering the circumstances and an air of solidarity and respect was undoubtedly present.
There were no political divides to speak of and an air of our new motto Vegas Strong, was an underlying current of this moment, as well as the entire night.
As soon as the Anthem commenced Skid Row burst upon the stage featuring new lead vocalist ZP Theart. Officially Skid Row’s singer since January of this year, this was the first opportunity many fans have had to see this newly fronted line up live. These are big shoes to fill.
With a decidedly heavier and raspier voice than the beloved, original vocalist, Sebastian Bach, Theart’s demeanor and tone are much more suited to the heavier albums like Slave to the Grind. In fact, Theart’s vocals seem to have brought out a distinctively heavier quality to the band as a whole.
Even signature ballads such as “I Remember You” have taken on a much grittier quality. It’s not bad, it’s just different. While we expect this level of fortitude out of tracks like “Monkey Business” they don’t translate quite as well to the debut album that set the Skids on the road to fame. On the other hand Rachel, Scotti, Snake, and Rob were flawless throughout the hour-plus set.
Unfortunately, it is difficult for fans to not yearn for a fully intact, late 80’s Skid Row with Sebastian at the front. It’s common knowledge within the community that this will never materialize. There’s just too much bad blood between these guys, but if it ever did it’s easy to envision a success on the level of the Guns N’ Roses reunion.
For as much effort as Theart puts in, and as solid as Snake and the guys are, there just isn’t a Skid Row like a Bach fronted Skid Row. That’s just reality.
Following Skid Row’s blistering set the crowd was primed and ready for Queensryche to command the stage. And they do, every single time.
The Todd La Torre fronted ‘Ryche is an exception to the replacement lead singer rule. Todd is impeccable. While watching Queensryche perform it’s often difficult to remember the days before him. Sometimes you don’t even want to. No one can deny Geoffs contribution to the ‘Ryche, but at this point, La Torre is as much Queesnryche as Geoff ever was. The band’s sound is irreproachable.
A symbiotic dance of unity and cohesion from opening track “The Guardian,” through the eerie lullaby of “Silent Lucidity,” and unwavering through the final encore of “Eyes of a Stranger” this is one of those rare bands that actually gets better with age.
Without exception, this show was a great success for the bands involved and the fans in attendance. With an air of dignity, a bit of old school rock and roll defiance, and the music that we love, Skid Row, Queensryche, and the Las Vegas music community became the face of Vegas Stong and surely no one in attendance will ever forget it.
Event Date: 07-OCT-2017