Speaking of ancient history, much of the House Of Blues crowd was out to relive the same. Lest you think Rock Of Ages still exists, this was minus the big hair, equal sized attitudes (mostly from the non-artist side of the stage) and trappings of the '80s...(thankfully) only the music survives. Although we can still teach "junior" a think or two about partying on a weeknight, if the bar tab is any indication! Certain percentage of this crowd wasn't even born when I first started listening to CINDERELLA and all those "yungins" weren't just there with mom and pop.
Could tell it was the start of the tour, as there was no new merch, just leftovers from '11. Never had to check the levels of in-ear monitors, back in the day, but tonight they seemed to cause an inordinate delay after the opening act. The intermission was punctuated by a soundtrack filled with too much RATT and POISON, certainly contemporaries, yet stylistically, miles apart. As if to prove the point, and show where their “allegiance” lies, the band took the stage to AC/DC's 'Rock N Roll Ain't Noise Pollution'.
Exactly the same set as last year, but tonight, they were more energetic, sweating on the small (by HOB standards) stage. The opening duo of 'Once Around The Ride' and 'Shake Me' got the crowd going, right away.There was an extended array of keyboards, where there once were none, shoehorned next to guitarist Jeff LaBar. Keifer didn't really interact much with the crowd, undoubtedly running through his first night, mental checklist. 'Heartbreak Station' began with Keifer, center stage, with a mounted lap steel. Later, both guitarists wielded acoustics, in the frontman's case, it was the twelve string variety.
'Somebody Save Me' has always been one of my favorites, a rocket fueled, old school speedster. Afterward, the stage went black, only to reemerge with Keifer resplendent in stove pipe hat and double-neck guitar, for 'Night Songs'. LaBar picked up the harmonica, Keifer by his side, to introduce, 'The 'More Things Change'. Even got a couple of head nods (headbangs?) from Keifer, certainly not something you'd see Stephen Pearcy of Brett Michaels do.
Once more the stage blackened, this time, LaBar arrives bare-chested, having discarded his white poodle shirt, in favor of a cowboy hat and leather vest, which helped display his tattoos. Keifer stood with hands on hips, as the crowd aided the chorus to 'Coming Home'. A flash of strobe lights transitioned to 'Second Wind', which saw Keifer utilize his considerable lips to play his solo. The mellow section of the show continued, with 'Don't Know What You've Got (Till It's Gone)'. LaBar stood with foot on the monitor, as Keifer left his guitar, in favor of a lone mic. At one point, he broke himself up, telling the audience, “I want to see stars.” Don't know what he meant, but the crowd was in full participation mode, offering a vocal rendition of 'Nobody's Fool', prior to the energetic 'Gypsy Road', which closed the proper set.
A short interlude and fashonista LaBar is back onstage with a Cleveland Indians' baseball jersey. The red and purple (haze?) lighting were right out of a '70s flashback. Keifer churned out the bluesy 'Long Cold Winter', sapping some of the vitality re-established with 'Gypsy Road'. The evening concluded with a rousing 'Shelter Me', which saw the multi-talented frontman once again trade in his acoustic six-string, this go round, for saxophone. He shimmied around the stage, thrusting the mic stand over the audience's head, come the chorus.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. CINDERELLA's still got it!