QUEENSRYCHE AND SKID ROW ROCK THE CANNERY!
ROCKFEST AT SUNSET STATION!
There are some concerts that I remember for a certain song, an interview, seeing an old friend and then some it is an experience that is off the charts. And on July 27th at the Sunset Station Amphitheater, this would be on one of those that will remain at the top of my best concert experience memories forever.
A week prior to the show my gal pal Val started calling and frantically telling me I had to get our backstage pass situation together and that I needed to get the scoop interviewing Kelly Nickels who just rejoined L.A. Guns. I contacted Dee Snider and Don Dokken to get passes and was looking forward very much to seeing my great friends. But I had never met Kelly Nickels.
And when I found out I needed to be at the venue to meet up with L.A.Guns at 2pm in the afternoon in the blazing sun, this vampire was not looking forward to anything except staying in bed and waiting for darkness to fall. When Saturday morning came, I was checking out some cute guy’s photos on Facebook until 10:45 am and finally fell asleep around 11 am. At noon I drug my weary self out of bed to face the sun and heat, understanding why it is called Death Valley an hour away.
I arrived at the meet up point with the guys at the hotel and saw a guy with long hair I quickly mistook for someone else and introduced myself when it would later turn out I had actually taken this guy to see Motley Crue and Slash… how could I not recognize him?!? But I didn’t until later on and this became a pattern all day long of not recognizing anyone. First Scott Griffin came up who I recognized then a girl and a guy came up: “Hi Sally!” I said hello and then went up to Steve Riley of L.A. Guns and whispered: “Who is that?” “Kurt Frolich”, Steve replied. What?! I couldn’t believe it! I have known Kurt for 20 years and he looks exactly the same! How could I not recognize him either! Editing my film in a room for three years has certainly taken its toll! Then Kelly Nickels arrived. To know Kelly is to love him. The minute you meet him, he makes you feel like you have known him all your life with his friendly, cool manner and humorous demeanor. He is like a magnet of charisma. I had no idea how cool this guy was! Then we all walked to sound check as I filmed along the way. I have done interviews with so many famous people all over the world but the one I did with Kelly in his hotel room stands out as one of my very favorite. Kelly is one of the most charming men I have ever met in my life!
Shortly after the interview the guys hit the stage and they were phenomenal! Kurt’s vocals have never sounded better and he fit Phil Lewis’ vocal style with strength and perfection. Scott Griffin shined on lead guitar in the blazing sun and Steve Riley hit the skins hard and Kelly was pure rock star formula to complete the perfect package.
Blame it on being crazy from the heat or just being my crazy self, I decided to start dancing like a inmate from the asylum on the sidelines while Guns was onstage. Of course the Lucille Ball character comes out in my dancing and soon, other crazy girls joined in as my BFF Michelle Griffith filmed as the crowd grew with amazed onlookers at the entertainment. Don Dokken had told me he wanted to see my “cleavage” when he got to town but Kelly Nickels gave me a L.A. Guns shirt to represent and I didn’t feel like putting that long sleeve low cut shirt back on for Don.
I filmed backstage for awhile and then went out to sit with Michelle and Nick and grill someone about that cute guy on Facebook. Then while standing on the grass, a man came running over to me that had been waving at me. It was pretty dark and he got right in my face: “Sally!” “Sally!” “It’s me!” I just drew a blank and said to this man: “Uh… I don’t know you…who are you?” “It’s me! Richard Moreno!” “Richard?!?” I gasped. I couldn’t believe it! Here is man I had proposed to in my magazine over 10 years ago! Richard was back in town all right! Ooooh Noooo! We went to the movies one time in 2007 and I was so shy, I wouldn’t even hold his hand no matter how much he begged me LOL. And now he was asking me to kiss him. “Are you single?”
shouted Michelle holding my camera. “Yes I am!” said Richard. After many failed attempts with me hiding my face and Michelle cheering me on, I figured it was now or never and Richard gave me a powerful juicy kiss. Those who know me know that this is an odd thing for me to be popular with men all of a sudden. Val had interrogated a handsome guy in the pool for me at a pool party the weekend before and I gave him a ticket to the show and he was wandering around the crowd with us texting each other throughout the day. And then there’s Mike in Colorado with his interesting correspondence, and Don Dokken is waiting backstage for me to show him my cleavage … and then what is the deal with this guy I am transfixed with on Facebook? And then…. Okay never mind, back to the music!
The legend Don Dokken himself took to the stage and I was filming. Before Don went onstage he says to my camera: “When am I going to see your racy video?” Uuuhhh… I guess I shouldn’t have told him! LOL
Dokken brings music that I feel was always a sound all of their own that gets people excited. I just love hearing “Breaking The Chains”. People crowded up to the front as photographers jockeyed for position for the best angles of Don. I have known Don for many years and Don is one of the funniest guys I know. I filmed him backstage and you have to hear for yourself of just how smart and hilarious Don is. I will always have a special place in my heart for DD!
Then it was time for headliner Dee Snider to take the stage. I was filming Dee just before he hit the stage.
Dee was like a prize fighter getting ready to go into the ring. He was jumping, pacing, stretching, sparring and pouncing around like a lion. It was like a wild animal was about ready to be unleashed. And that is exactly what happened. With pal Criss Angel’s introduction, the power of Dee hit the stage with such electricity you could feel it light up the night sky. One time Dee joked to me at a show that he felt sorry for Tom Keifer because Tom was going to follow Dee’s performance onstage. But watching Dee in action explains that. NO ONE can
follow Dee Snider! This man is in tip top shape and commands the stage like no one else! I really cannot think of a rock frontman that rules the stage like Dee. Dee and his band played a full list of his career repertoire including Twisted Sister songs for the delighted crowd who were pinned to the edge of the barrier screaming for metal. While onstage, I had a chance to say hello to Dee’s GORGEOUS sweet wife Suzette who I hadn’t seen in awhile. Criss Angel was next to her and the last time I saw him, was when he came to my 2016 Vegas Rocks! Magazine Music Awards show to introduce Dee and Twisted Sister who I was honoring. Criss pointed at me and said: “I know who you are!”.
The evening ended with a visit to Dee’s dressing room as he face lit up and he said: “Hi Sally!” when I walked in and I took some photos and Dee did a quick video blurb for me. Then Val, me and Kelly Nickels went to the dressing room to scarf up the last of the leftovers. I saw so many friends backstage I was so glad to see; Ken Ciancimino, Frank Dimino, Bob Kulick (who I accidently called Bruce and he corrected me LOL) David Plastik, Stoney Curtis, Stacey Blades and so many more.
It was so much hanging out with Kelly and that day and the entire day and night was a magical experience that I will never forget!
Thank you Sunset Station for bringing such a Kick A#% show to Vegas! I can’t wait for next year!
Special thanks to Jeff Klein of PR Plus for photo/review credentials!
Also special thanks to Danny Stanton and Rockin’ Val for forcing me out into the heat to introduce me the amazing Kelly Nickels!
L.A. Guns photos: Paul ROCK Santos
Dokken and Dee Snider photos: Gary England
Be sure to check out my Kelly Nickels interview right here! https://youtu.be/UvNJJbe-XL0