Masses of black took over Sydney University as the Manning Bar was at full capacity tonight thanks to one of the last remaining rock gods.
There couldn’t have been a better choice for an opening act than Sydney three-piece Gypsy who filled the support slot like it was there’s for the taking.
From the opening note on guitar from Tommy who would also deliver on the vocals with lungs of steel to the backing bass of James and breakneck speed of Billy behind the kit, the lads showed ’em how Sydney know how to rock ‘n f*ckin’ roll!
Nailing high pitch screams from the get-go Tommy announces next song, “Living in the City” to a promising repose. Slowing down the pace to an infectious solo which speeds up as Billy belts the skins before a spot-on rendition of “Love Gun” which would have brought a smile to Ace Frehley.
The groove of “Leaving Home” soon turns to thrash before “Black Majors” brings out the best of headbangers alike and latest single “Solstice” goes down well with the crowd.
Another great choice in cover was the Judas Priest classic “You Got Another Thing Comin’ “, which would have received a horns up by fellow metal-god Halford and Satan himself.
Another new track, “White Spirit” showcases the abilities of James who runs down the fret board of the bass setting the groove to some inspiring guitar licks.
“True lies” is up next and it’s “… A classic Gypsy hit some may know”, informs Tommy, pointing out the direction of the merch stand, letting punters know where to go for shirts and CDs, which for ten bucks are a bargain.
With a Rock ‘n roll jam to end the set Gypsy absolutely nailed it tonight.
Standing ahead of his peers Sebastian Bach would tonight prove he still had the goods and that you don’t need an ego and pyrotechnics for a good show.
An incredible line-up was a big help with the amazing guitar work of Brent Woods (Wildside, Alice Cooper, Vince Neil), bassist Rob De Luca (Spread Eagle, UFO), and drummer Bobby Jarzombek (Fates Warning, Rob Halford, Riot).
Opening the set to a cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Little wing” before Bach addresses fans of rock ‘n’ roll coming together, getting away from all the rotten news on TV, with the world feeling like its breaking down, which cues up the first Skid Row track for the night being “Breaking Down”, from Subhuman Race (1995)
The way Bach works the crowd shows his true showmanship. Speaking of the first time Skid Row played in Australia in 1990 when they did a signing in Sydney and it was all over the news due to responding police all because of this song, before breaking into “18 and Life” from the debut Skid Row (1989).
Asking how many played this song in the back of their car? How many listened to this song on the beach? How many made love to this song? Which of course was the ballad “I Remember You” which sure brought nostalgia to the next level.
Bach who is feeling the heat insists that “It’s time to put the hammer down,” bringing up the recent loss of Megadeth drummer Nick Menza who came out to a thrash song. Leading up to the reason why they don’t open with a thrash song, “Slave to the Grind” being next in line from the 1991 release of the same name. “Now at the age of 50 it’s not a good thing to do,” Bach jokes.
“Love is a Bitch Slap” from solo release Angel Down (2007) sees the light of day and the hardrocking number gets a good response.
With Bach now 100% warmed up a triple from the debut including “Big Guns”, “Sweet Little Sister” and “Piece of Me” goes down a treat.
A sing a long with the crowd to “Wasted time” is a good surprise before breaking into song with Dimebag Darrell’s favourite Skid Row song, “In a Darkened Room” as Bach would often get drunk with Dime and he’d say, “Baz, you gotta make more songs like this!”
“Australia is responsible for AC/DC then you had to go ahead and make Rose Tattoo the same week,” Bach addresses the Australian metalheads before changing the title of Painmuseum’s “American Metalhead”. From ballad to hard rocking to balls to the wall metal Bach was the man, reaching the range none could come close to since the late Ronnie James Dio, hitting every note with precision.
Bach praises Metropolis Touring for bringing the band out and that next time they play they do so at a place with air-con as in the man’s words is, “too old for this shit… But I’m still having fun”.. And as you could tell by the grin which deserved its own postcard that he was definitely enjoying himself.
“Monkey Business” sees the Rush hit “Tom Sawyer” make an appearance before the anthem of “Youth Gone Wild” and Bach’s love for Australian Rock and Metal with one last crowd sing-a-long to Rose Tattoo’s “Rock ‘n’ Roll Outlaw” and fist pumps to “We Can’t Be Beaten”.
Ending a faultless set to what would have to be the gig of the year with a tribute to late, great Bon Scott with a cover of AC/DC’s “TNT”
The much needed rain outside would cool things down after leaving from what felt like an oven.
Damaging the CD cover to merch purchased gave it that ‘vintage’ look. Rather than nostalgic, which is a word used a lot for tonight, a better word would be vintage – just like that of a vintage or classic car.. Tonight was a classic event!
Photos by Jess Miller.