Due to some unexpected hard-drive issues, the arrival of this review was temporarily delayed. But since both bands are currently on tour and it was such a special night, I figured it was still worth sharing with all of you.
With an intimate Storytellers vibe and accompanied by long time collaborator Kelly Keeling (BATON ROUGE) on guitar and vocals, Don presented us with a tight 40 minute set of acoustic DOKKEN hits. Having a new, stripped back solo CD (“Solitary”) for sale, I must admit I was very surprised he didn’t play anything off of it; instead relying on all the bigDOKKEN songs we know and love. But considering most of the packed house was there for QUEENSRYCHE, I guess I can’t blame him for playing it safe.
Don seemed in good spirits, keeping the set light-hearted with some funny stories and antidotes. The casual fan was reminded of how many great songs are in the DOKKEN repertoire, and hopefully this opening slot created some momentum for the newly released, full band effort “Lightning Strikes Again”, which they’ll be promoting throughout the rest of the year.
As for the main attraction, let’s say that it was quite a treat to see QUEENSRYCHE in such an intimate setting. Geoff commented that it was their first time playing The Chance since 1983! A long time indeed.
Guitarists Michael Wilton and Mike Stone have definitely melded as a duo over the years, trading lines flawlessly. While Eddie Jackson remained out of sight for the most part, in the shadows left of the drum riser, Scott Rockenfield’s massive kit was in the forefront of the small stage. In perfect view for the “air drummers” in attendance, Scott proved once again why he remains a fan favorite. Ever the mesmerizing front-man, Geoff sounded strong, seemingly unhampered by the illness he apologized for.
For the 75 minutes they were on stage, QUEENSRYCHE was brilliant as always. The only real disappointments came in what they didn’t play. I am sure it is primarily due to the fact of Geoff being sick, but looking at the set list, you could see a good amount of songs were being skipped over. And numbers everyone would have loved to hear! "The Lady Wore Black," "Neon Knights," "Another Rainy Night (Without You)," and "Take Hold of the Flame" were all left by the wayside. But overall, it was still a great night of music. From the fun, loose performance of Don Dokken to the much more focused and powerful QUEENSRYCHE set, it was definitely a magical evening all around. Local talent attending the after show party included Chris Caffery (TSO) and Mark Scott (TRIXTER), pictured.
All photos copyright Jennifer Bartram-Schmitt