The Dead Daisies and the Dives brought their Dirty Dozen US tour through our town on a balmy Saturday night and I was not going to miss this one. I was there to interview Marco Mendoza, the Dead Daisies’ bass player extraordinaire, for the Growin’ Up Rock Podcast, but I would have been at that show either way because I dig the Daisies.
I sure wasn’t disappointed. The Daisies hit the stage with all the power and execution you would expect from these killer veteran musicians. When you assemble a band that includes John Corabi on vocals, Doug Aldrich on guitar, Marco Mendoza on bass, Brian Tichy banging out the drums and include your band’s founder David Lowy on guitar, you know they are going to come correct with the music. The opening song of choice, much like the Live & Louder record, was “Long Way To Go.” The band moved and grooved through “Mexico,” “Make Some Noise,” Song & A Prayer,” and several other choice cuts, including some classic covers like “Helter Skelter” and “We’re An American Band,” before closing out what was a roughly 90-minute, sweat-filled set.
As I mentioned, I was there to do an interview for the Growin Up Rock podcast. The whole basis of the podcast is connecting emotionally with and through rock ‘n’ roll music stories and memories both past and present, so we can escape each week if only for an hour and relive awesome times while listening to some kick-ass rock and roll. So how cool was it that at this show there was a young boy, maybe 8 or 9 years old, whose parents brought him to his first rock ‘n’ roll concert?!? Damn, I wish my parents were that cool when I was growing up.
Hoisted on his Dad’s shoulders for pretty much the entire night holding a sign that read “This is My First Concert,” John Corabi sees the sign about midway through the night’s set, and acknowledges it along with the rest of the guys in the band who all make it a point to create a memorable experience, autographing the sign, giving the kid guitar picks and drumsticks, ending with them bringing the kid up on stage during the encore to help Brian Tichy play the cowbell and smash the cymbals on the final song of the night, one of my faves, “Midnight Moses.” I am pretty sure 30 years from now he will remember this concert and have an amazing “Growin’ Up Rock” story to share.
As I mentioned, I knew the Dead Daisies would deliver the goods, but I also had fun creating new memories at this show. Met up with new friend and fellow podcaster Joe from Podcast Rock City, and caught a great new act, The Dives, that as a KISS fan he’d seen a few times before.
The Dives opened the show after a local warm up act. They are a solid up-and-coming rock band, who lean more to the power pop side of things than the hard rock side, but assembled a solid set of songs delivered with swagger and energy that can’t be dismissed. The band is fronted by Evan Stanley, who of course is the son of KISS frontman Paul Stanley, but he and his band’s music have absolutely nothing to do with KISS or their sound. It’s a hard shadow to step out of, but I think the kid deserves the right to be seen and heard on his own merit before you, the listener, decide if it is your thing or not. They reminded me a bit of the Wallflowers sound, just straight power pop rock music. Good songs from a promising and polished young band in a live setting, while connecting with new friends is always going to be a great rock experience.
As someone who left his youthful days a very long time ago, I will probably never have that same emotional connection to bands like experiencing my first rock show, or buying my first rock album. That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy concerts or listening to new albums, it just means my experience is much different than those of my youth, as I would expect from anyone. The great thing about supporting new bands who are doing it old school is the hope that they will make that emotional connection with the youth of today. So it’s neat to know that there was a young boy in the crowd who may remember The Dives and the Dead Daisies concert as one of his most cherished rock memories.
If during your daily and weekly grind, in between paying bills and taking care of your kids, you want to feel alive, then get up off your asses and go see a Dead Daisies show. Or for that matter, go out and see whatever rock ‘n’ roll band is in town that you feel like supporting. It’s an invigorating sip from the fountain of youth!!
Need more Dead Daisies now? Subscribe to Growin’ Up Rock Podcast and check out the full interview I did with Daisies’ bassist Marco Mendoza.