Concert Review – Skid Row – Harley Fest – Freedom Hill – Sterling Heights, MI 6/13/15

Concert Review – Skid Row – Harley Fest – Freedom Hill – Sterling Heights, MI 6/13/15
July 7, 2015 | By More

It’s always great to find out when one of your favorite bands is coming to town. A while back, I read that the mighty SKID ROW would be in town on June 13th, 2015 as part of the 2015 Harley Fest event presented by 106.7 The Drive. I then realized I was supposed to be leaving town June 12th to go visit family for a while. I resolved that issue by putting off my vacation for couple of days.

Skid Row has gone through some changes again recently. Johnny Solinger is out and Tony Harnell (Formerly of TNT) is in. Prior to this show, Skid Row has only done a handful of dates with Harnell. Immediately following their first show in Canada, videos of their first few performances began showing up on YouTube. I should rephrase that.  Crummy YouTube videos began showing up and people began bitching about this and that. About a week later, some decent quality videos surfaced on Facebook and YouTube.  I liked what I heard and became even more stoked for the show.

The day of the show, I arrived at the festival a bit early to check out some KISS tribute band that I heard was pretty good, only to find out they were already playing and that Skid Row was going on at 8:30pm. I just assumed Skid Row was going on around 9:30 like other festivals at the same venue. Apparently since this was a “Harley Fest”,  the festival was shutting down at 10pm to allow all the bikes to get out of the parking lot before a local 11pm noise curfew.. Understandable!

It’s now just a little after 8:30pm and Skid Row is about to take the stage.  Detroit Red Wings alumni, Darren McCarty took the stage to introduce the band and let everyone know how much he dug Skid Row. He also told a short story about seeing Skid Row open up for Guns N’ Roses in Los Angeles, back in 1991.

The time had come. Tony Harnell, Dave “The Snake” Sabo, Rachel Bolan, Scotti Hill and Rob Hammersmith took the stage opening up with the title track off the 1991 album, “Slave To The Grind”.  To me, that’s always been the perfect song to open up with. It has a vibe that just pumps up your adrenaline. This was evident by the crowd of all ages quickly getting into it. This was everyone’s first time hearing/seeing Harnell perform these songs.  I thought he was doing a great job. Between songs, I was talking to a couple of friends who agreed with me as well saying “I am impressed”.  In my opinion, a big factor on how these guys continue to win over audiences, is the fact that you can see that they are totally into the performance and are probably just as excited to play those songs as we are to watch them.

Rachel Bolan and Rob Hammersmith of Skid Row

Rachel Bolan and Rob Hammersmith sharing some laughs while performing.

The band continued on with playing all the songs you’d expect them to play, including a couple off the recent “United World Rebellion” Ch. 1 & 2 EP’s, “Let’s Go” and  “Give It the Gun”. I was hoping to hear some more songs from those EP’s, such as “Kings of Demolition” or ” We Are the Damned”.  If you are not familiar with those EP’s, GO CHECK THEM OUT! They sound like classic Skid Row with a new feel.

The most surprising song in the set was a track from their 2003 “Thickskin” album, called “Ghost”. This is one of my favorite Skid Row tunes. I was pretty surprised that they played it. It has been a few years since I have seen them perform that.

The band finished out their set with their usual closer, “Youth Gone Wild”.  Toward the end of the song, guitarist Scotti Hill reached out into the audience and pulled up a young girl who had been singing the words to just about every song they played that night. Scotti let her strum a few chords of his guitar as the rest of the band was finishing up. Skid Row left the crowd cheering and wanting more. The band left the stage to go relax for a while before coming back out to meet fans waiting outside the backstage area. The band spent a good 45 minutes talking to fans, taking photos, and signing autographs..

It’s been about 3 weeks since this show, and now that I finally have time to write this review, I had no trouble remembering every bit of it. I enjoyed every minute of it and I look forward to seeing them again the next chance I get.

Over the years, I have been privileged to meet some of my favorite bands/artists. I always tell people that Skid Row are one of the coolest bands out there, PERIOD! I’m not just saying this because I am writing a review of them and I want them to dig it if they see it. I REALLY do think a lot of bands can take a cue from Skid Row on how to treat fans and people in general. Skid Row continues to add dates to their tour schedule. If they are coming to an area near you, I encourage you go check it out. To me, going to concerts is also a way to help forget about whatever daily problems you have with life. Watching Skid Row put on an energetic show like that will do just that..Youth Gone???….. NEVER!! Enjoy!!

Set List

Slave to the Grind
Big Guns
Let’s Go
18 and Life
Give It the Gun
Riot Act
In a Darkened Room
Thick Is the Skin
Makin’ a Mess
Psycho Therapy
I Remember You
Monkey Business
Piece of Me
Youth Gone Wild

Review and Photos (Below) by Shawn Thornton


Get the latest on Skid Row including Tour Dates, VIP Packages, & More: -Official Skid Row Website – Official Skid Row Facebook – Official Skid Row Twitter

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Category: Interviews, Reviews

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