Lunatic's Serenade

Tom Keifer / Revolution
Skull Kandi Durham / Motley 2.0
@ Rock Pile East - July 26, 2014

Photography: Sandra Gallant-Anderson

Since opening its doors over a year ago, the Rock Pile East has been home to some great live acts and last night’s show was a perfect example of the type of concerts coming through the doors. Cinderella frontman Tom Keifer performed live with his solo band, along with a slew of local acts to bring on an excellent night of rock ‘n roll.

The show started shortly after 8pm when Skull Kandi Durham hit the stage and treated fans to some classic rock and metal covers. The band tore into hits from Quiet Riot, Kiss and Ugly Kid Joe just to name a few. At this time the crowd was still pouring in, so the band did its best to warm up the audience. The next band Revolution was all 18 year old kids hailing from Brampton who played originals and sounded really tight. The music was compacted with heavy riffs and pulling directly from Black Sabbath’s doomy repertoire, and looking like total pros in the process.

At around 10pm the club was jam packed and when Motley 2.0 took to the stage the crowd came alive quickly. Lead by the dutiful Maxel Black, Motley 2.0 dove into several choice cuts from the Motely Crue cannon and pulled it off extremely well. I’ve seen this band perform live when they were known as Crued and now they continue playing Crue classics in this new incarnation and they do it all so well. When they finished their set, the crowd was pumped and ready for Tom to come out and play some Cinderella classics that this audience was obviously on hand to hear.

Luckily we didn’t have to wait long for Tom’s crew to set up the stage and as soon as he came out everything became electric. He went straight into “Night Songs” off Cinderella’s debut and the crowd went nuts for it. It was fairly obvious this bunch of concert goers came to hear Tom sing the classics and he did oblige them whole heartedly. He sang “Save Me”, “Shake Me” and “Nobody’s Fool” from the first record and then performed “Don’t Know” and “Coming Home” from Long Cold Winter, while also adding into “Shelter Me” from Heartbreak Station into the set-list.

As far as the solo material goes, Tom performed 6 cuts from the record The Way Life Goes and for what it’s worth he gave the audience a glimpse into a more soulful and softer approach, but still maintaining his impeccable ability for song-writing. The song “Solid Ground” is probably the closest thing you are going to hear to a Cinderella song, and watching him performing the track live was a highlight for me. He also brought his wife Savannah on stage to sing along with him to a touching rendition of “Ask Me Yesterday”, adding another dimension to the show. Again, a little more of a gentler side of Tom, but it didn’t stop him from giving his fans the songs they wanted to hear.

"Tom Keifer is a true original and must be seen at a live event."

The band exited the stage and then quickly returned for the encore with a cover of Joe Cocker’s “With a Little Help from My Friends” which by all accounts is a fantastic number when you consider the rich history behind the song. Tom’s rendition remains true to form and was sung with much passion and love, and with the crowd’s enthusiasm generated enough soulfulness to heighten the energy coursing throughout the club. From there he closed the show with fan favorite “Gypsy Road” and thus sending the crowd home happy.

This was the type of show that really appeals to fans of 80’s hard rock and judging by the average age of the crowd that seems about right. I also thought Tom summed it up beautifully at the end of the show by thanking the crowd and adding how the fans keep these classic Cinderella songs alive nearly thirty years later. That little comment made the show so much more memorable for me, and I thank Tom for stating that fact. Plain and simple: Tom Keifer is a true original and must be seen at a live event.

Kenneth Gallant, Editor-in-Chief HMS

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