Nostalgia. The definition reads “a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.” This night was going to be filled with it. Sebastian Bach, former frontman of Skid Row, announced earlier this year he would be touring and his band would be performing the entire debut self-titled Skid Row album. The album was celebrating it’s 30 year anniversary and this was certainly a great way to celebrate it. And add rockers Vixen to the mix and I was back in my high school days of rock and roll. And the crowd that night felt the same. The Hard Rock Live at Universal Studios in Orlando, FL was hosting the tour that night. The majority of the crowd was dressed as it was 1989 in rock shirts, ripped jeans, and women with big teased hair. The venue was packed and they were ready to rock.
First up to the stage was the Canadian rock band Kobra and the Lotus. The band released their first album Out of the Pit in 2010 to very positive reviews. The band continued generating new music and getting more and more recognized for stunning vocals and hard rock music. By 2014 the band released their third album High Priestess which got rave recognition worldwide and they opened for KISS and Def Leppard on a North American tour. The band took a hiatus as lead singer Kobra Paige took some time off to recover from Lyme disease. The band was signed to Napalm Records and released their acclaimed double-album Prevail I and Prevail II over 2017 and 2018. The band recently release their sixth studio album Evolution on September 29, 2019. Kobra and the Lotus are Kobra Paige (vocals), Jasio Kulakowski (guitar), Ronny Gutierrez (guitar), Brad Kennedy (bass), and Marcus Lee (drums).
Kobra Paige jumped out on stage wearing a sparkling blue jumpsuit and white sneakers waving to the crowd and ready to rock. With a bright white microphone on her mic stand, her vocals sounded pitch-perfect that night. The band were rocking along having fun on stage and sounded amazing. I’ve been a fan of Kobra and the Lotus since hearing Prevail I and live they sounded even better. The band played songs from Evolution including “Burn!” and “Get The Fuck Out of Here”. They also performed one of my favorites “Let Me Love You” from Prevail II. Kobra and the Lotus had gotten the crowd engaged to sing along with them. It was a very impressive performance. You can find their music and merch HERE.
Next to the stage was Vixen. The all-female rock band originally formed in 1980 by guitarist Jan Kuehnemund (who passed on October 10, 2013). The band went through several lineup changes before they settled on a lineup and released their debut self-titled album in 1988. That album would release the well-known “Edge of a Broken Heart” and “Cryin”. The band would release Rev It Up in 1990 before disbanding in 1992. Vixen would reunite multiple times over the years and release two more studio albums Tangerine in 1998 and Live & Learn in 2006. After the death of Jan Kuehnemund, the band decided to stay together full time to honor their founder. At the end of 2018 long time vocalist Janet Gardner announced she was leaving the band to focus on her family and solo career. The band brought in Lorraine Lewis of the band Femme Fatale to be Vixen‘s new vocalist. Lorraine even stated the band was working on a new album to release in 2020. Vixen is Lorraine Lewis (vocals), Roxy Petrucci (drums), Share Ross (bass), and Britt Lightning (guitar).
The crowd went wild once Vixen hit the stage. Lorraine‘s smile was beaming from the crowd response as they opened up with a Femme Fatale cover of “Waiting for the Big One”. Upon even the first few notes Vixen sounded amazing. The band owned the stage and Lorraine’s stage presence captured everyone’s attention along with her phenomenal vocals. She had the crowd singing along when they performed “I Want You to Rock Me”, getting the crowd to sing back “Rock Me!” And they did loudly. Britt‘s guitar work was just off the chain ripping her way through riffs, smiling the whole time. She looked like she was having a lot of fun on stage. Share was rocking the bass and providing backing vocals while Roxy ripped that drumset with such passion. Vixen closed out their set with “Edge of a Broken Heart” to the fan’s delight. It was a stellar performance from them. You can find their music and merch on their website HERE. Their setlist that night was:
- Waiting for the Big One
- Rev It Up
- How Much Love
- I Want You to Rock Me
- Streets in Paradise
- You Oughta Know By Now
- Edge of a Broken Heart
The crowd waited in anticipation for the headliner Sebastian Bach. Sebastian was the frontman of Skid Row from 1987 to 1996. After leaving the band he had a very successful run on Broadway starring in Jekyll and Hyde, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Jesus Christ Superstar. In between all this, he started his music solo career releasing three studio albums. And now he was touring to perform the entire self-titled debut album of Skid Row. Along with him was Brent Woods (guitar), Rob de Luca (bass), and Bobby Jarzombek (drums). He came out to the stage to a roar and standing ovation from the crowd as he opened up with “Tornado” which is part of the last track of Skid Row. The crowd was already amped up and rocking as he continued into “Forever” from the 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition of Skid Row. From there, it was onto the album.
Sebastian and his band sounded great during the performances of the songs. Getting to hear those tracks live brought back some great memories. I especially enjoyed hearing “Rattlesnake Shake”, which he poked fun at before performing it. And of course, hearing “18 and Life” was the essential crowd-pleaser having the whole venue singing along. But, what some people may not have known is how entertaining Sebastian is when he’s not singing. In between some songs he stopped to talk to the audience. He told stories of how playing Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was just a day in his life. Or how the director of Jesus Christ Superstar told him he couldn’t strut around the stage like himself. When Sebastian asked him “Why not” the director explained “Jesus didn’t walk like that” and Sebastian replied, “How do you know?” It was quite entertaining. Sebastian Bach made the show more than just a concert. It was a Sebastian Bach experience of part MTV Storytellers, part comedy show, and part musical performance. My other favorite part was when they brought out the acoustic guitar and he started playing Yes’ “Roundabout” on it and singing some of the lyrics leading it into “I Remember You”.
After they finished playing the Skid Row album they walked off the stage as the crowd cheered for them to come back out for an encore. Sebastian and the band were happy to oblige as they performed more Skid Row songs including “Slave To The Grind” and “Monkey Business”. They closed out the show with the perfect song “Get the Fuck Out” and he thanked the fans for supporting him for 30 years of rock and roll.
This tour stop was filled with great music, great memories, and a very fun time. It was absolutely worth seeing it.