While Rockeyez staff members Brian Rademacher & Mark Balogh were covering the “Birch Hill Reunion Show” down in Sayreville, I found myself up in Teaneck, NJ at one of my favorite venues (Mexicali’s Blues Café) to witness Jersey’s own TRIXTER kick off their 2010 tour. This was a make-up date for their show originally slated for February 26th that was unfortunately cancelled due to inclement weather so I was really excited to finally attend this show. Especially since the last time I had seen them was way back in March of ’09 at the “Crazy Donkey” out in Long Island, N.Y.
In addition to TRIXTER, this night also featured another Jersey Band that has been no stranger to Rockeyez… very special guests LIPSTICK MAGAZINE. Now I must admit that I have seen this band several times over the years at the now “defunct” Dexter’s Nite Club in Riverdale, N.J. and even at Rocklahoma 2008 but I have never be overly impressed. Yeah, they’ve always been “good” but I just never thought they were able to take that next step up to make them “excellent!” On this night, however… they did!
I can’t say what it was exactly. Maybe it was the fact that lead vocalist Toni Loyas really seemed to be on the top of her game this particular evening… maybe it was the addition of the two background vocalists who really added some stellar vocal fills and made the songs sound fuller and fatter than they ever had been before… maybe it was the pure energy of dueling guitarists Damon Marks and Nat Gardiner and the rest of the band who electrified the near capacity crowd. Whatever it was, LIPSTICK MAGAZINE really impressed! This was not the same band I have been seeing over the past couple of years but definitely a band I hope to see and familiarize myself more with in the future.
Not long after an incredible opening set by LIPSTICK MAGAZINE, it was time to welcome back TRIXTER to a Jersey stage for the first time since their first home-state reunion show at Dexter’s back in November of 2008! As the final riffs of AC/DC’s “For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)” echoed through the venue’s speakers, one by one they appeared… on stage right, the pounding bass rhythms of PJ Farley, behind the “skins, “ the thundering percussion stylings of Mr. Mark “Gus” Scott, on stage left, the tantalizing and scintillating riffs and chords of guitar virtuoso Steve Brown and finally, taking center stage and owner of one of the coolest microphone stands I have EVER seen… vocalist extraordinaire Pete Loran!
Like many times over the past couple of years, TRIXTER burst right out of the gate with the high-octane “On The Road Again” off of their 1992 “Hear!” release but to my delight, they followed it up with one of my favorite TRIXTER tunes “Nobody’s a Hero” which I haven’t heard these guys perform live in almost two decades! And that wasn’t the only surprise these guys had in store as in addition to switching around their regular set, they also added a cover of Paul Simon’s “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover” which they had recorded for their 1994 “Undercovers” release as well as another very special treat… but I’ll get to that!
As the evening continued, TRIXTER continued to deliver hit after hit after hit to the near capacity crowd of fans, friends and family members. Highlighting the set were tracks like “One In A Million,” the always reliable “Line Of Fire,” “Road Of A Thousand Dreams,” their signature ballad “Surrender” and the heart-pounding “Ride The Whip.” “Play Rough” also stood out as indeed the guys DID just that because towards the end of the song, Pete and Steve got a “little” tangled and finally landed Pete flat on his back for what he claimed was the first time on stage since 1994! LOL- but he was fine and the band continued to thrill the crowd all night long.
The show drew to a close with another incredible rendition of “Only Young Once,” an edgy, powerful version of “Rockin’ Horse” and finally, the band’s name stay “Give It To Me Good” which just about blew the roof off the place! But unlike past recent shows, it didn’t end there! I mentioned earlier that they had one more special treat… and that treat was an absolutely show-stopping version of the AC/DC classic “T.N.T.” which through Steve’s amazing guitar playing, the blood-pulsing rhythms of PJ and Mark and Loran’s outstanding vocals really ended this show in style and flair.
What an incredible night of music and the best part is… it doesn’t end here! At least not for me as I get the opportunity to catch these guys again just a few short weeks away at Melodicrockfest in Elgin, Illinois… just outside of Chicago! And if you can’t catch that show, I suggest you check the TRIXTER website as often as possible as more and more summer dates are added. This is one band you don’t want to miss.