(Orillia, ON) – The super group Kings of Chaos performed at Casino Rama on October 30th to a near sold-out crowd. This hybrid band is composed of top selling Rock ‘n Roll Royalty from the 1980’s. The core of this lineup consists of Guns ‘n Roses and Velvet Revolver members Matt Sorum, Duff McKagan and Gilby Clarke with performances from a revolving lineup of guest musicians. For the Canadian portion of their tour, Peterborough’s very own Sebastian Bach, along with Cheap Trick lead singer Robin Zander and Billy Idol‘s guitarist Steve Stevens joined in on the fun. Since their inceptions in 2012, performers such as Def Leppard front man Joe Elliot, Sammy Hagar and Aerosmith axe man Joe Perry (just to name a few) have joined their ever changing roster to jam their most popular, chart topping hits.
Befittingly, a regal horn sample played as the members took their spots on stage. Sebastian Bach opened the show on lead vocals with the Guns ‘n Roses songs Welcome to the Jungle and It’s So Easy along with his own Skid Row song Youth Gone Wild.
Bach introduced Robin Zander as the greatest front man, the coolest mother trucker and his hero. Zander performed Hello There, a song written by Ricky Nelson and performed by Cheap Trick during the late 1970s. This song was often performed as their first song while on tour. This song amalgamated into Surrender; Cheap Trick‘s first billboard charting song, followed by I Want You To Want Me. Jumping the band wagon over to Steve Stevens, who teased the audience with the intro to Billy Idol‘s Rebel Yell starting and stopping to get the crowd going.
The pace slowed down a notch with Bach regaining the front man position, performing Eyes Without a Face. He stated it’s below his normal vocal range, but pulled it off impressively well. Besides Stevens playing the acoustic portion of the song, the rest of the band hung out on the drum riser, enjoying the performance. Bach made many references to living in Peterborough, a city 1 1/2 hours east of Toronto and performed his power ballad song I Remember You.
Vocal reigns switched once again, with Zander performing Ain’t That A Shame along with Mr. Bownstone. Following those songs, the stage cleared and Zander took solo center position with an acoustic guitar indicating that the next song, The Flame, goes back a long way and how some of the audience may not have been born when this song was released. While performing this song, I caught a glimpse of McKagan side stage bowing to the artistry of Zander’s performance. Dream Police ended his musical round.
Bach and Zander united to sing a powerful rendition of the Beatle‘s song Come Together. Knocking on Heaven’s Door had Guns ‘n Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke emerging from the self imposed confined area behind the safety of his mic stand to sing lead vocals center stage. Bach regained the mike on the next two classic songs Highway Star by Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin‘s Whole Lot of Love. AC/DC‘s Long Way to the Top and The Who‘s My Generation performed by Zander rounded up the evening of classic cover songs.
The band left the stage very briefly and came back to play their encore Paradise City.
Unlike the attitude and egos which emanated from many of the bands from that era, I sensed that the musicians standing in front of the audience that evening were grounded and appreciative of the fans support. As a photographer it’s not often than individual musicians are willing to give eye contact to the lens. But that evening, everyone did, and in a genuine and unpretentious manner. They engaged with their fans and seem to have a fun time jamming the songs that made them famous.
Although all individually comfortable in their musical capabilities, I was very impressed with Zander’s versatility on the different songs that he performed that evening. A truly powerful and soulful performance. Bach had a few pitchy moments and sang some portions at a lower octaves then the original songs, but still managed a worth wild, energetic and engaging performance.
The Kings of Chaos Facebook page states: “This live show is a once in a lifetime experience not to be missed!” I couldn’t agree more! It was fun reliving my youth for one evening.
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