It has been way too long since I have seen these guys! But Oh wow have they not missed a beat! If anything they were more energetic than most of the younger major acts out there today!

This would be the first time I saw the guys since ace guitarist Keri Kelli joined the fold. I texted Keri about coming to the show and between him and Marty Giovi I was set up to rock on a Saturday night!

I was running a little late as I raced in to pick up my tickets and pass at the Eastside Cannery. I was in a panic because I could only shoot the first three songs and it was already 7:55 and the show was at 8pm. I went to the wrong check-in and then ran to the right one where they had my tickets. No line! Great!

I saw Marty and he ushered me in right away so I could get ready to shoot. Luckily they weren’t going on until 8:10 so I was there just in time. In most venues there is a photo pit where the photographers go so there is a railing behind them. But this venue doesn’t have any separation from the crowd. So when the guys took to the stage the crowd surged to the edge of the stage and I was pushed against the stage and couldn’t move.  Luckily security moved everyone back so me and Joe Schaffer could take photos. We can’t stay in one place for the photos so we have to move from side to side depending on where the best shots were happening. And for this show you have to run fast to catch the right shots. But I was concentrating on getting some good shots of frontman Jack Blades when all of a sudden I felt someone push me to the side. And I mean hard! I turned around and it was a chick who demanded I get out of the way.  Then her husband got in my face and yelled: “Get out of the way! We didn’t pay all this money to look at you!” I didn’t say much because I knew I had limited time to catch the shots. I haven’t been assaulted like that since LB pushed me out of the way in 2005 at a Steel Panther show. So after the 3 songs I explained to the terrible twosome I was only there briefly and I was just trying to do a job. They didn’t care, they layed into me with more insults. With two against one it was a losing battle so I just left not wanting to cause a scene but very upset and felt like going to the corner and crying like a baby… yes I am extremely sensitive! But the incredible music and energy on the stage diverted my harassment incident and I went and took my seat for the best show happening in Vegas on a Saturday night!

I had forgotten how many hits this amazing band had! “Sister Christian” “When You Close Your Eyes”  “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me” “Sing Me Away” “Four in The Morning” “Rumours in the Air” ”Sentimental Street”  and closed the show with a powerful finish with “Rock In America” and so many more. They also have written many soundtracks for movies as the title track for the movie “The Secret of my Success” starring Michael J. Fox.  Jack Blades told the funniest story onstage about this song and I cannot tell it as great as he did but I will try: They got hired for the movie and they were so excited they wrote the song in one night. They waited two weeks to send it to them so it would look like they worked really hard on it. When the commercial for the movie came on they all gathered around the television as excited like they were waiting for The Beatles on Ed Sullivan with great anticipation. Then Michael J. Fox s’ face filled the screen and the big moment came to hear their song and then they heard…”I’m Walkin’ on Sunshine….” By Katrina and The Waves! Even though their song was featured as the title song track for the movie it was a big let-down for them to say the least – but Jack can tell the story way better than me LOL.

The band members with Jack really set the stage on fire that night. With Kelly Keagy on drums (He is also the lead vocalist on “Sister Christian”)keeping the steady powerful beat going and Brad Gillis playing solos on his Fender Strat that would put Ywingie Malmsteem to shame. I was also impressed how well Keri Kelli fit into the chemistry of the group. He was all over the stage with lightning speed with his axe keeping up with Jack and Brad. He was the ultimate rock star throwing his guitar picks to fans that were more than anxious to fight for them. Eric Levy held down Keyboard duties and Jack Blades led the way with bass in hand with his powerful lead vocals and the energy of a teenager.

If you get a chance you will not be disappointed to catch these guys live. I was so proud of these guys that night for keeping rock and roll alive and well! Keep up the great work guys! Come back to Vegas soon!

Sally Steele

Photos: Sally Steele



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