The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
The Rockpit - SebastianBach03Oct10

SEBASTIAN BACH - SECRET WARM-UP SHOW
OCTOBER 3RD, 2010
THE LOCAL 269, NEW YORK CITY

 

“Hey NYC! RIDDLE ME THIS: A house that weighs a ton can be oh so much fun! If 1 became 2, would you know what to do? A 69? A wine & dine? Sunday nights gonna be a good time!”


The above message appeared on SEBASTIAN BACH’s Facebook page on September 30, a day after another message - “Hey New York City! What are you doing Sunday night?” had been posted. These posts were part of a chain of messages hinting at a secret show in NYC sometime before the bands upcoming European tour.


Although I live in Toronto and the show was a ten hour bus ride away in NYC I had to get to this show. After hours of investigating clues and possible venues, discovering the venue, being told we were on the guest list, then being told there was no guest list we eventually arrived at the secret venue, The Local 269, just out of the Skid Row of NYC at about 5pm (four hours before scheduled show time).


The Local 269 is a tiny venue, the maximum capacity would have to be somewhere around eighty people. We were very surprised to see only one person in line but more so relieved that we were probably going to get in. Even fifteen minutes before doors were supposed to open I can’t say there were more than forty fans lined up, it seemed as though most people didn’t like their chances of getting in so opted not to bother even trying. No offence to Americans here but... Americans are spoilt when it comes to rock music (at least compared to Aussies), there is so much out there to see that they can’t go to every single gig that they fancy... Us Aussies however will catch a bus ten hours each way hoping to get into a gig that we will line up for three hours for.

 


Shortly after all sixty eight guests piled into the venue Bach’s band made their way to the stage which is about half a foot off the ground. As the intro music got louder the exit to the left of the stage opened and in came the man. He waved and stuck his tongue out at the crowd, and as if he was playing to 20,000 he immediately got the crowd going with the head banging SKID ROW classic SLAVE TO THE GRIND. This was a warm-up gig, and it was in a tiny venue, but by no means did these guys act like this gig was any different to any other. Swinging his mic, whipping his hair into the crowd, pumping his fist in the air the first few rows had to be watching every move unless they wanted to cop the mic in the head, according to the blood coming out of Bach’s forehead for the first few songs I think he copped a knock himself.


The setlist was a mixture of old and new mainly ANGEL DOWN, SKID ROW and SLAVE TO THE GRIND but we also got a few fresh unreleased tracks which should appear on the new album which I can’t wait for. The crowd of 60 odd people were making so much noise if you had closed your eyes you could have mistakenly thought you were in a crowd of 2,000. I had to keep looking back because I couldn’t believe my ears.

 


With the show being in such a small venue, I really wasn’t sure what to expect set list wise. One of the songs I was most interested to see was AMERICAN METALHEAD. The song is a heavy metal anthem that is so easily fitted to a stadium or arena but I wasn’t sure how it would come off in a tiny club. I need not have worried, the song was on the set list and it went off. The heaviness of the riffs, the loudness of the guitars, Bach’s perfect screams, and thankfully the backing vocals of a crowd that knew all of the words and weren’t too shy to shout them. Everyone was singing to the top of their voices and it really felt as if I was part of something special in a heavy metal kind of way.


Whenever you see one of your favourite bands there’s always at least one song you hope to hear that you don’t completely expect to hear. That song for me was STABBIN’ DAGGERS off ANGEL DOWN. Once again I was pumped to hear another song off this killer album and I even got a chance to share the mic with Bach for a few lines.

 


The night wasn’t flawless as there were a few technical issues. Young gun guitarist Nick Sterling broke a guitar string which ended up with us having a Q and A session with Bach while the sound guy went downstairs to fetch a new guitar! A few songs later Sterling blew up his amp and again the sound guy was sent downstairs this time to fetch a new amp!! Towards the end of the show Bach’s mic was cutting in and out and the frustration was showing. Touring the world playing arenas and stadiums supporting GUNS N’ ROSES for the last few years you can’t blame Bach for being used to using better equipment and having a higher level of technical support from sound guys but at the same time I did feel for the sound guy who did everything he could given the equipment he had to work with.


Bach commented on him continuously being asked about rejoining SKID ROW and completely ruled out the possibility, and rightfully so. He compared himself to the NBA basketballer LaBron James, “Yeah I was good with Cleveland but what’s wrong with moving to Miami where the rest of the team can actually help me win the games” and he’s spot on about his current band helping him win games. Bach’s band is currently made up of two awesome guitarists, Nick Sterling and Johnny Chromatic (CHROMATIC), killer bassist Rob De Luca(UFO, SPREAD EAGLE), and monster drummer Bobby Jarzombek (HALFORD, RIOT), (Jason West is filling in on drums for Jarzombek who is currently out on tour with HALFORD).

 


Another subject Bach spoke about was Blabbermouth readers talkin’ shit about him saying things such as “Sebastian has his tongue up Axl’s ass”. As Bach explains, Axl is taking him out there and giving him a stage to play in front of thousands of people in so many different places, is he not allowed to say thank you? Of course he is... it would be wrong if he wasn’t thankful and as I see it Axl needs all the support he can get these days and he’s got the right guy in Bach to stick by him.


The last song of the set was TUNNEL VISION, a song Bach co-wrote with guitarist John 5. As expected a very guitar driven song. Apparently John was most excited about working with Bach as he apparently appears in the SKID ROW video for PIECE OF ME as a fan getting up on stage with Bach.


As the show was coming to an end the and Bach was thanking the crowd for coming out Johnny Chromatic jokingly started playing the intro to SWEET CHILD O’ MINE, Sterling decided it was a good idea to join in and from out of nowhere Bach started singing and all of a sudden we had a completely spontaneous rendition of the GUNNERS classic SWEET CHILD O’ MINE. Once again we are reminded of how good Bach’s voice is. Halfway through the song however Bach’s mic cuts out again, this time for good and the song is cut short. After sorting out the problems and pinching Sterling’s mic, the crowd uses what’s left of their voices to help Bach out with YOUTH GONE WILD. Once again, I found myself looking around the room both wondering how this handful of people could be making so much noise, and how lucky I was to be in the room.


This show was undoubtedly one of the best shows I have ever seen by one of the greatest singers in rock n’ roll. I am again left wondering why I hear so many people suggesting Bach should rejoin SKID ROW. I can’t say the idea of this happening is at all appealing to me, at least not at this point in time. As much as SKID ROW may or may not need Bach there is no doubt that Bach is doing more than fine without them.

 

SETLIST:
SLAVE TO THE GRIND
BACK IN THE SADDLE (AEROSMITH COVER)
BIG GUNS
LIVE THE LIFE
HERE I AM
TAKE IT AWAY
(LOVE IS) A BITCHSLAP
STUCK INSIDE
PIECE OF ME
18 AND LIFE
AMERICAN METALHEAD
CAUGHT IN A DREAM
STABBIN’ DAGGERS
AWAKE
MONKEY BUSINESS
YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND
TUNNEL VISION

ENCORE:

I REMEMBER YOU
AS LONG AS I GOT THE MUSIC
SWEET CHILD O’ MINE (GUNS N’ ROSES COVER)
YOUTH GONE WILD

David Carruthers