Skid Row comes to the Agora Theater in Cleveland, Ohio to play their second show of many on their North American United World Rebellion tour.

Kevlar out of Erie, Pennsylvania opened up the night and immediately caught everyone’s attention. I have been to many shows where the opening act was ‘just another band’, but these guys had a sound everyone fell in love with from the beginning. What caught my attention about this band was they’re heavy, but not just for the sake of being heavy. They have great melody and they craft full songs, not just riffs. They put on a killer set and gave everyone watching evidence they can hang with the big guns. I can really see this band going places. Honestly, I think they should have been higher up in the line up. I bought both their first album Forever Bulletproof and their EP Into the Crossfires, which was just released last month (Yes, these guys are that good!). I really suggest you check this band out!

Following Kevlar were Cleveland natives Atomic Grave. Being local, they of course drew many people to the show. With their fast and heavy music, they sound a lot like a mix of Metallica with some Anthrax mixed in. They were certainly a band that would make your neck hurt in the morning from constant head banging. If you don’t believe me, check out their music video for Blame the Music on YouTube. The single is off of their début album Quarantined.

Next up, former guitarist of Warrant and Quiet Riot, Billy Morris with his own Billy Morris Band.  Morris and cohorts where welcomed with cheers from the Agora crowd from the start and until the finish. Throughout the show Morris stressed his love for guitar solos and he meant it. Every song had a solo that took your breath away. He really proved he had the skills to be in his past bands and to move forward into a promising solo career.

Next, Sakara took the stage. They had big shoes to fill, since they came into this tour replacing Kill Devil Hill, who dropped out. Sakara shocked many people as a late add and as an opening band. Most did not know what to expect from these guys from Springfield, Massachusetts, who are on their longest tour of their career. The band is performing songs in support of their début album, Forgetting What Was, which was released May 27th. Late add or not, this band can absolutely handle the pressure of a last-minute addition.

Finally, the time had come for headliners Skid Row to take the stage in celebration of the 25th anniversary of their self-titled album, Skid Row. Though they may not be as young as they used to be, they established without a doubt, that age does not mean a thing when it comes to music. Continuing on the topic of age, lead singer Johnny Solinger, made a point of noticing how many teenagers there were in the crowd. He continued to address the audience, noting that “rock is not dead” and thanking the fans for their support during rough times and line up changes.

The band played a mix of newer songs as well as the hits and the crowd sang in unison. Skid Row kept the crowd fully engaged throughout the show and most certainly gave the fans their moneys worth. The band plans to release a new EP Rise Of The Damnation Army – United World Rebellion: Chapter Two sometime this summer. Keep a look out for Skid Row as they continue to tour with Sakara around North America!

Article and photos by Andy Howe

Skid Row:

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Sakara:

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Billy Morris Band:

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Atomic Grave:

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Kevlar:

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