The Rockpit Report: The Dead Daisies Australia Tour 2015

THE DEAD DAISIES on the KISS 40th ANNIVERSARY TOUR

 

Whenever Kiss brings their tour into your part of the world, it’s a big deal because of the significance of the band in the world of rock. From the marketing power of the band to the sheer number of classic hit songs to the Kiss Army fans that follow the band, Kiss are a huge profile name that continues into their 40th year.
A band that has been part of the tour including the trek in Australia is The Dead Daisies who are quite simply a fantastic classic rock band and have had an amazing run of shows with Kiss. We were lucky enough to catch these guys across Australia including interviewing and chatting to various members of the band along the way so here’s a rundown of our trek on the tour and what we experienced and why you need to check out The Dead Daisies.

 

INTERVIEW WITH MARCO AND JOHN FROM THE DEAD DAISIES
Perth – October 3rd 2015

We start off in Perth on the first show on the Kiss tour and the first thing that comes up is a pre-tour interview with two members from The Dead Daisies, vocalist John Corabi and bassist Marco Mendoza, two legends in their own right and some of the friendliest guys you will ever meet. We talked to John and Marco before the show in Perth to discuss the tour with Kiss, their new album “Revolucion” and their experience in Cuba performing live there for the first time and essentially being part of history at the same time. Check out the interview below.

 

KISS AND THE DEAD DAISIES
Perth Arena – October 3rd 2015

Later that night the first show on the Australian tour with Kiss and The Dead Daisies kicked off at Perth Arena. It’s always great to see a tour kick off in your hometown and while guitarist Richard Fortus could not be with The Dead Daisies on this tour due to a motorcycle accident, Baby Animals guitarist David Leslie stepped up to fill in and did a great job on guitar. Read what went down at the first show on the tour.

The last time Kiss visited our shores it was part of a four band package that included Diva Demolition, Thin Lizzy and Motley Crue; this time the support was provided by The Dead Daisies, a band, if ever there was one, capable of making you question Mr. Simmons famous quote that “Rock is dead”…[read the full review here]

KISS AND THE DEAD DAISIES
Allphones Arena, Sydney – October 10th 2015

Of course the worst thing about travelling in Australia following a tour is the fact that unlike the US or Europe the stops are both fewer and further between and involve a lot more air time. After visiting family friend in the West I headed back home for the adopted home in Sydney to catch the Kiss show again, and whilst it’s easy to get tired of a band that rarely changes its set list for its adoring fans there’s just something about these guys that is both guilty pleasure and semi-mesmerising.

Now let’s get a few things straight – I think that our editor is probably the only person I know who has ever seen Kiss on multiple dates on the same tour, but that was way, way back in the eighties when he probably had his Mom and Dad take him too, and probably on horse and carriage! So tonight is interesting for me from the point of view that he said of course I loved Kiss in those days but I felt kind of cheated in that I saw the exact same thing twice in two nights miles and counties apart (then he goes into his Black Crowes routine about following the band round Australia (thanks Adam) and never seeing the same show twice).

Well tonight in Sydney all I can say (sorry Perth) is that I saw a far better show tonight – was it the same set? Well yes, pretty much except that tonight ‘Shandi’ was the first encore and played pretty much all the way through without Paul hitting the wrong chords and bailing as he did in the West. Apart from that the venue is bigger (I love Allphones Arena which is what it’s called this year), the crowd is crazier (in my 100 count we have 3.2 times more face painting Kiss Army crazies) AND somehow from these back seats (we were upfront in Perth) you can enjoy the spectacle more. Crazy isn’t it that I enjoyed seating at a Kiss concert!

Anyway on to the show itself. The Dead Daisies put on another great set to warm things up – in all honesty it’s hard to find enough great things to say about these guys – they lay it on the line with some really fine songs, my only regret really is that they could, on the basis of their two albums, (not just the fact I saw the set a few days ago in Perth) play all original material as to be honest once you hit a certain age playing covers (never really liked ‘Helter Skelter’) is only a draw for the young as most of us even semi-old dudettes (30 this year) already appreciate those songs (I must say though ‘Midnight Moses’ that opens the set should be there just to get people to listen to SAHB again! )

If you love Rock though and want to see a new band with some really great material, then these guys could well be the answer – ‘Evil’ (the Willie Dixon song made famous by Howlin’ Wolf); ‘Mexico’ and ‘Empty Heart’ follow and set the crowd alight. The band, from a distance, is an interesting spectacle – we watched the Perth date from the floor but from on high it’s apparent that there’s a great dynamic in the band with the ‘old stagers’ Corabi (ex-Motley Crue); Mendoza (ex-Whitesnake and many more) and Tichy (again ex-Whitesnake and more) hogging the limelight like real pros whilst the meat and potatoes is provided by guitarist Lowy (actually he’s more animated than you’d think and constantly looks like he’s having as much fun as anyone); Dave Leslie (who does a huge job filling in for Richard Fortus at short notice) and Dizzy Reed who of course is imprisoned by his keys.

It’s a great set with Tichy’s drum antics – throwing those sticks sooo high and Corabi’s amusing between banter punctuated by Mendoza’s excellent stage craft. There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that The Dead Daisies have won thousands of fans tonight – something that is confirmed by the hordes of Kiss fans queueing up between sets to meet the band, grab a photo and get something signed.

Kiss of course put on a great show, and to be honest it’s more spectacular up in the seated area we are then down at the barrier front of stage. The ‘Spider’ set is nothing short of spectacular. To be fair to the band they know how to entertain and the Kiss Army loves it. Our guest reviewer Cameron Edney gives his take on the Kiss show in Sydney [here]

 

 

THE DEAD DAISIES SECRET SHOW EVENT
Fraser’s Motorcycles, Sydney – October 11th 2015

The following day saw The Dead Daisies put on a private secret show for invited guests and friends at Fraser’s Motorcycle showroom in Concorde, Sydney as part of a charity event for the Cancer Council of New South Wales. A more intimate setting and super relaxed atmosphere included hanging and chatting with band members, promoters, media people and fans, checking out the sound check where we got the first performance of a song the band was to play later in the day. The show itself was incredibly cool, with both John and Marco getting up close and personal with the crowd and the band putting on a fantastic performance followed by a signing session/photo with The Dead Daisies afterwards. It all ultimately made the event a day to remember, and a lot of fun and all for a great cause.

 

 

SHOW REVIEW

Well there who gets to see a secret show by a great new band? A select bunch who showed their support on the website that’s who; and for those that could make it out to Concorde in Sydney’s Inner West then a great afternoon was to be had by all, with a full set by the band (including Dizzy Reed on lead vocals for the final encore…Wait for it!!)

Luckily we also got an invite which was cool given that we not only got to see a great band but also drink a few Margaritas (with Patron no less!), washed down with some fine Pistonhead Lager, after eating a few samples of the fine work by the Beach Burrito Crew and taking the time of course to drool over a few hundred Harleys from Frasers! (I think I got all the sponsors in?) In all seriousness though the proceeds from t-shirt sales and the donations given for a chance to win a special Dead Daisies branded Harley Davidson all went to benefit the Cancer Council NSW, a cause I’m sure is very close to all of our hearts especially us, touched as we are by that insidious disease. Good on the Daisies we say as I’m sure our editor would agree as he chairs a cancer charity back in the West.

Todays “daylight” set sees the band suitably energised despite the beautiful full light in what must be one of the best looking motorcycle showrooms in Australia. More importantly though the sound in Frasers is excellent which is a great testament to the crew. After catching up with the band at the sound check which we were honoured to get an invite to, there’s a real buzz as the invited guests start to gather outside (by the way we heartily recommend the burgers at the diner next door). The sound check itself is pretty damned cool as we not only get to hear a Dizzy Reed led ‘Knocking on Heaven’s Door’ for what we think is probably the first time ever played, but we also get what is the second only outing for The Beatles ‘Oh Darling’ – both songs make it into the set proper.

As the doors open and the crowd piles in there’s a real sense of expectation, and with Marco and both Davids comfortably chatting with the fans there’s a real family feel to the occasion that’s made all the grander by a Patron Margaritas or a Pistonhead Lager or two. When the band comes on the place feels packed despite the intimacy of the event.

Setting out with the set they played with Kiss the crowd is immediately animated pumping fists and singing along from the off. The one-two opening of ‘Midnight Moses’ and ‘Evil’ just works so well before the superb ‘Mexico’ really sets the place alight.

 

 

Today everything works, and the covers couldn’t go down better with ‘Hush’ and Free’s ‘All Right Now’ (which really suits Corabi’s voice) getting the entire crowd singing along. The best thing about the Daisies though of course is the quality of their own material – there are few bands out there that can pull off a classic Rock sound with songs this good! ‘With You and I’ is perhaps the best example and you can tell it’s a band favourite by the way they jump right in. With sojourns into the crowd by both Mendoza and Corabi it also gets pretty interactive and by the end of the usual closer ‘Helter Skelter’, the crowd knows that they’ve seen a band with a real shot at taking classic rock back to where it belongs.

Today you can see exactly why this works so well, you have a great ‘collective’ who love what they do, excel at what they do, and know how to put on a show. When you add to that the quality of the original songs and the belief in the covers they play you have a band that just keeps getting stronger.

The most memorable moments of the set though are to come with a left-field cover of The Beatles ‘Oh Darling’ seeing Corabi again come to the fore and the Dizzy Reed vocal on ‘Knocking on Heaven’s Door’ a perfect way to close. As they always do the band stuck around to sign items and chat after the show and there wasn’t a single person who didn’t join that queue. If you haven’t been converted to The Dead Daisies yet you will be, just get out there and see them and you’ll understand why their brand of classic rock will never die.

 

www.THEDEADDAISES.com

PHOTO GALLERY

Photos By Cameron Edney (Sydney) and The Buffman (Perth)

About Mark Rockpit 384 Articles
Website Editor Head of Hard Rock and Blues Photographer and interviewer