Dreamcar Gallery & Review – 5/27/17 The Vic Theatre – Chicago, IL.

Dreamcar

5/27/17 – The Vic Theatre – Chicago, IL.

By Bradley Todd 

            I am giddy. The kind of giddy you feel when you meet somebody new and feel an immediate attraction. The way you feel when you talk to a new love interest for the first time and sense sparks of chemistry in your conversation. The kind of giddy you feel with long winded conversations with no lulls, but also lengthy eye contact without any words spoken. Holding hands…a first kiss…and beyond. All of it.

The object of my affections? Dreamcar.

It was only a few weeks ago when I had fallen asleep with the TV on, only to be awoken by a musical performance on the Late Late Show (w/ James Corden) by a band I didn’t know, but was immediately moved by… while wiping the sleep from my eyes. The song had an emotional urgency to it. The vibrant band bounced and rocked, breathing the vibe of the song. I only heard half the song (Kill for Candy)…but that was enough.

I bought Dreamcar’s new, self-titled album, their first, upon waking the next morning. And I have enjoyed the hell out of it since. 12 tracks – all killer, no filler. It brings me to the emotional space that has been filled in the past by great bands such as Duran Duran, The Smiths, The Cure, Psychedelic Furs…and more recently, The Killers.

Despite being a debut album from a new band, Dreamcar are anything but rookies in the music game. The band is comprised the members of No Doubt, minus Gwen, with singer Davey Havok from band AFI. And in Davey, Tom Dumont (guitar), Adrian Young (drums), and Tony Kanal (bass) have found the perfect person for this new musical venture, as was obvious at Chicago’s The Vic Theatre on May 27th, the final stop of the band’s recent tour.

While the group is new, the presentation and performance is well honed and tight, the chemistry undeniable. Despite playing the intimate Vic Theatre, the band brought a full production of sound and stage, including a keys player and two background singers to round out the sound…and it paid off in the performance. The band played every song from their debut album perfectly, albeit in a different running order, as well as David Bowie and INXS covers, ultimately closing with their single that hooked me in, Kill For Candy (full setlist below).

While Tom, Adrian and Tony laid down grooves that propelled this show with energy and enthusiasm, Davey Havok was the emotional face of this performance. I don’t know much about Davey Havok, other than the fact that he just might be my new favorite singer. A strong baritone, Havok presented with style reminiscent of the 40’s, wearing a gray suit and monochrome rust red shirt and skinny tie, along with a retro, mop top hairstyle and pencil thin moustache. But style aside, this dude can sing. His vocal performance was strong and flawless. And Havok doesn’t just sing songs, he delivers them dramatically, acting out the emotions of each line skillfully and with sincerity…to the point that I was unsure if I was watching a singer in an actor’s body, or vice versa. When he looked a crowd member in the face during the song Do Nothing and sang “You do nothing for me…” he paused for dramatic effect before repeating “Nothing!” And I believed him. 

            One other thing I must mention that contributed to my enjoyment of this fantastic show: the sound mix. It was straight up stellar. I can’t recall ever hearing better sound at any concert, at any other venue. Each instrument was crisp and clear, and each vocal – lead, as well as background – front and center with out any distortion…so kudos to you, Mr. Soundman!

SETLIST  ** FULL GALLERY BELOW** 

  1. After I Confessed
  2. The Assailant
  3. Born to Lie
  4. Slip On the Moon
  5. The Preferred
  6. Moonage Daydream
  7. On the Charts
  8. Do Nothing
  9. Ever Lonely
  10. Don’t Let Me Love
  11. All the Dead Girls
  12. Don’t Change
  13. Show Me Mercy
  14. Kill for Candy

The Dead Daisies – Concert Photo Gallery – 8/20/16 Rockford, IL.

The Dead Daisies are currently out on tour in the U.S. as the opening act for KISS, on the latter’s Freedom to Rock Tour (complete The Dead Daisies photo gallery below).

Dead Daisies 2016-08-20 web image-00041

The Daisies are supporting their new record, Make Some Noise, which is their third album, and the first with new guitarist, Doug Aldrich, who is best known for his stint in Whitesnake, but has played with Glenn Hughes and others (the rest of the band consists of singer John Corabi, Drummer Brian Tichy, bassist Marco Mendoza, and rhythm guitarist David Lowy).

Dead Daisies 2016-08-20 web image-09998-3

Make Some Noise is a straight up “dirty” (as I think Dough Aldrich described it) rock record with shades of vintage Aerosmith along with other influences, mixed with a Los Angeles, Sunset Strip vibe. Fans of Corabi’s one album stint as the singer in Motley Crue in the early 90’s will certainly find something to like with this collection of songs, as John’s vocal punch and delivery from that era remains in effect and is reminiscent of the style he displayed on Motley’s self titled album. Brian Tichy hits hard and with great groove, and meshes well with Mendoza and Lowy to round out this quintet.

Dead Daisies 2016-08-20 web image-09110Dead Daisies 2016-08-20 web image-00031

The group is musically tight, but plays with a loose demeanor that created an enjoyable performance on 8/20/16 in Rockford, IL., as the band came on about 20 minutes earlier than the scheduled start time, but got to play for close to an hour in the opening slot covering a good deal of ground.

You can follow The Dead Daisies on their website at www.thedeaddaisies.com , and they’ve got a pretty active social media presence on the band’s and individual members’ various social media accounts (which can be linked to from their website) which often consists of daily photos/updates, and even video clips from backstage, the road and their promotional appearances while on tour.

 

Cheap Trick – Concert Review & Gallery – 7/19/16 Northerly Island, Chicago, IL.

Cheap Trick is out on the road this summer as part of the “Rock Hall Three For All” tour featuring their fellow Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductees, Joan Jett and Heart, and made a stop in in their hometown (well… their 2nd hometown, after Rockford, IL.) Chicago on 7/19/16 at Northerly Island. This was the 4th stop on a tour which is currently scheduled to the beginning of October.

Cheap Trick - 7/19/16 Northerly Island - Chicago, IL.

The band is out in support of their wonderful new album (w/ the odd title), “Bang, Zoom Crazy…Hello,” which rocks from the opening to the closing note, and is also notable as the group’s first album with Daxx Nielsen, guitarist Rick Nielsen’s son, on drums.

Cheap Trick - 7/19/16 Northerly Island - Chicago, IL.

While Cheap Trick is opening the shows on this tour, don’t be fooled because they are headliners who just happen to be playing first (my guess is that they were added to the tour after the Heart/Joan Jett lineup was already set). They pack their hour long set with hits and new songs, and switch up the setlist from night to night, showing the depth of their catalog.

Cheap Trick - 7/19/16 Northerly Island - Chicago, IL.

Daxx Nielsen brings a great energy to the group, and Tom Petersson always lays down a solid base to the rhythm section with his 12 string bass. Rick Nielsen is the master of ceremonies with his distinctive guitar work, quirky presence and personality. And Robin Zander is simply a freak of nature the way his voice has retained its range and tone decades after he began his long run fronting one of America’s rock ‘n’ roll treasures.

Cheap Trick - 7/19/16 Northerly Island - Chicago, IL.

Cheap Trick still wants you to want them, and with their new album they are showing they are still worthy of our desire.

Set List Below:

Heart – Concert Photo gallery – 7/19/16 Northerly Island, Chicago, IL.

Heart have set out a summer tour with two of their fellow Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductees, Joan Jett and Cheap Trick, called “Rock Hall Three For All,” with the 4th stop on the tour in Chicago at the Northerly Island venue on 7/19/16. Dates for the tour are currently scheduled to early October.

Heart - July 19, 2016 Northerly Island - Chicago, IL.Heart - July 19, 2016 Northerly Island - Chicago, IL.

The tour is in support of the group’s new album, Beautiful Broken, mixing old classics with new music. Bestrocklist.com was on hand for the proceedings and brings this photo gallery to show readers what the party looked like.

Set List:

  1. Encore:

  2. Love Hurts (w/ Cheap Trick)

Heart news and info can be found at their website at: http://www.heart-music.com/welcome , as well as their social media accounts.

The Winery Dogs – Concert Review & Photo Gallery – 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre – St. Charles, IL.

The Winery Dogs recently wrapped up a world tour, but not before stopping for a show at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles, Illinois, on June 30th, 2016.

Winery Dogs - 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre - St. Charles, IL.

The band, a trio consisting of bassist, Billy Sheehan (David Lee Roth, Mr. Big), Drummer, Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater), and guitarist, Richie Kotzen (Poison), was out supporting their fantastic sophomore album, Hot Streak, which is an appropriate title to describe the songwriting roll these musicians have been on since joining forces not too long ago.

Winery Dogs - 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre - St. Charles, IL.Winery Dogs - 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre - St. Charles, IL.

Each player in this group is exceptionally talented at their respective instruments, but together have created musical magic in songs that allow each to show off their skills within the confines of their incredibly catchy, groove-y, melodic, sing-a-long rock tunes.

Winery Dogs - 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre - St. Charles, IL.

I was on hand to catch The Winery Dogs on a second swing through the Arcada Theatre (after a well received show earlier in the tour which I unfortunately missed), where they impressed the crowd with their instrumental chops and infectious songs, while letting their respective personalities (Billy – the ultimate professional/showman, Mike – the gregarious comedian/character, Richie – the serious, almost brooding, multi-instrumental virtuoso) shine through. This night was confirmation of a hot streak, indeed.

Winery Dogs - 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre - St. Charles, IL.Winery Dogs - 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre - St. Charles, IL.Winery Dogs - 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre - St. Charles, IL.

You can follow The Winery Dogs on their website: www.thewinerydogs.com , and on their social media accounts, which can be linked to from their homepage.Winery Dogs - 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre - St. Charles, IL. Winery Dogs - 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre - St. Charles, IL. Winery Dogs - 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre - St. Charles, IL. Winery Dogs - 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre - St. Charles, IL. Winery Dogs - 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre - St. Charles, IL. Winery Dogs - 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre - St. Charles, IL. Winery Dogs - 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre - St. Charles, IL. Winery Dogs - 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre - St. Charles, IL.