On Friday, October 19th, Skid Row performed their second Australian show for their 2018 tour at a sold-out Prince Bandroom in St Kilda. Being their first Australian tour with ZP Theart, fans anxiously awaited their headline performance on the four-band bill, shared by Melbourne’s Atomic Riot and two Sydney-based bands, The Kids and Bad Moon Born.
Kicking off the night with a huge roar of energy were Atomic Riot, Melbourne’s finest five-piece rad lords. Drew Suhr and Alex Richo’s masterful, alternating guitar solos, Nick Caligula and Tommy Sunset’s rhythmic rule, and Ash Lightning’s wailing vocals almost make up for the abundance of Dad jokes told throughout their set… almost. The fab five more than made up for any crimes to comedy through the performance of one of their newer tracks, Night Cappin, with Drew and Alex’s synchronized, harmonic solo being one of the peaks of an already fantastic set. No matter how much time these guys are allocated, their set will never be long enough and is sure to leave the audience lingering for more.
The Kids are alright. Between spewing ‘edgy’ anecdotes and a reasonably lacklustre set, it is hard to recommend The Kids as they are at the moment. I see potential in the band (as I probably couldn’t even read at their age), but as they stand, it feels as though they are trying to do too much too soon. When the biggest weapon in your arsenal is how low your age is, all I can say is ‘Stay in school, Kids’.
Hailing from Sydney, Bad Moon Born must be one of the most ambitious opening acts in Australia. Displaying an insane amount of talent and a tight bond between the five members, Bad Moon Born are not only a great pallet cleanser between The Kids and Skid Row, they are a force to be reckoned with. Being instrumentally Nu Metal, while also having Frank’s wailing, operatic vocals, brings forth an energy similar to that of a 90’s super-group like Audioslave. Each member of the band understood their role perfectly and performed to a sensational calibre, having moments where the guitars were so perfectly synched that it was hard to differentiate between players, and other moments where each guitarist got to stand in the spotlight during some bombastic shreddage. Each of their originals showed a love of their craft and it can safely be said that their cover of Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song is one of the most true-to-source performances to grace the Prince’s stage.
Hitting the stage fashionably late, a trend that is both common and accepted for 80’s sleaze rockers, Skid Row graced the audience with an hour and a half of hard-rock classics. The line-up for the 2018 Australian tour consists of original-era members Dave Sabo, Rachel Bolan and Scotti Hill alongside Rob Hammersmith and, for the first time in Australia, DragonForce’s ZP Theart on vocals. The setlist covered all bases, including such staples as 18 and Life, Youth Gone Wild and I Remember You while also including Forever, a track that hasn’t been played on-tour since 1988. Humorously enough, a rowdy audience member was ejected from the venue following a fight while still singing along to the aptly titled track, Get The F*** Out from Skid Row’s 1991 album, Slave to the Grind.
Other highlights of the night included a sensational, long-drawn guitar ‘duel’ between Dave Sabo and Scotti Hill, consistent audience roastings on behalf of ZP Theart which was sure to rile the crowd and Rachel Bolan absolutely nailing Psycho Therapy as both chief rhythm operator and vocalist for the tune. Skid Row more than delivered above expectation, giving the audience everything they wanted and then some. If the opportunity to see them on this tour is still there, they are surely an act not to be missed.
Skid Row have been brought out by Silverback Touring, who have made substantial headway into delivering some of the best hard rock and metal tour experiences since their inception earlier this year. Other acts that have been brought out by Silverback include Hed PE, Bulletboys, Hardcore Superstar, Stryper and Paradise Kitty, with Fozzy and Butch Walker still to come. For fans of all things rock and fans of quality concert experiences, make sure to keep an eye on their space!
Get your tickets to see Skid Row on their Australian Tour HERE!