WARRANT REUNION TOUR
Show Date: July 5, 2008
Location: Henderson, Nevada, U.S.A.
Venue: Sunset Station Hotel & Casino
Reviewer: Brad Kereszturi
Band Website: www.warrantweb.net
Not only did Jani Lane fall off the wagon, he smashed the damn thing into a brick fucking wall and summed up his career in a shaken, drunken, word forgetting debacle that was just embarrassing.
Unfortunately, the night of July 5th, 2008 at the Sunset Amphitheater in Henderson, Nevada, is not the way I want to remember Jani Lane and Warrant. That band is/was (?) my favorite, even after the “80’s Hair Craze” crashed and burned. I stood by them and defended them when my friends made fun of them and me. I always believed, or led myself to believe, Warrant had more talent and sense than the rest of them. Even after the band broke up and recorded Ultraphobic and Belly To Belly, I remained a Warrant fan. Even more, a Jani Lane fan. Back Down To One and now Saints Of The Underground have been in my regular CD rotation.
In the somewhat recent past I saw Jani perform an acoustic set at The Lounge in the Palms. It was a great, great show. He was sober, the vocals were dead on and he did a gracious meet and great after the show. Just last summer I drove from Las Vegas to Glendale, Arizona to see him. It was another great show, spot on. Jani looked happy to be doing what he does, joking with the band members, etc.
When I heard The original members of Warrant were back together I was stoked to say the least, so was my wife. $51.00 a ticket…and you know what, I would have paid $100.00 each. Yea, I really like Warrant. No I’m not an over obsessive psycho fan, just someone who enjoys the music.
I could tell something was amiss before the show started when I noticed Jerry Dixon, standing at the rear of the stage, looking bothered to be there. At one point I watched Jani walk up to him and Jerry shook his head and walked away. Steven Sweet was also there and wouldn’t even look at Jani.
Finally the music started with “Down Boys”. The crowd was into it and the energy was intense. Then Jani came out. The vocals were out of pitch and about a half beat off the rest of the music. I thought, ‘please, let there be some kind of delay in his ear monitors that’s throwing him off’. Then I watched his right hand holding the microphone shaking badly. Shaking to the point I thought for sure he would drop it. Joey Allen and Eric Turner were trying to help Jani catch up by singing into his ear. This was painful to watch.
Over 20 years of being a faithful fan, at least 7 or 8 live shows, albums, tapes, CDs, videos, being ridiculed for being a Warrant fan and convincing my band members to put a Warrant song on our set list had just been thrown back in my face with a big ‘loser’ trailing behind. I’m sure Jani isn’t the only lead singer that this has happened to.
Actually, I really don’t feel as bad for me as I do for my wife who last saw the original Warrant in 1992 and my friend, who works in the biz, that loves Warrant but never had the opportunity to see the original line up. Or the parents at the show who brought their kids to see one of their favorite bands from their past. Or the large number of the ‘Guitar Hero’ generation that came to see the band that does “Cherry Pie”. What a shame. And, it got worse. Forgetting lyrics, stumbling around and just being so out of it he won’t remember anything.
Is this the end of Warrant? It sure looks like it to me. The sad thing is, I left after the third song. I stayed because I hoped, really hoped, that this was some kind of joke and he would snap out of it. It didn’t happen. When Jani walked into the crowd during “All My Bridges Are Burning”, I walked out. I walked out on one of my favorite bands, a band that has influenced me with their music. A band I respected.
Twenty plus years of respect, influence and memories crushed by one man’s inability to stay sober. Not much more to do now but face it and become the ‘closet’ Warrant fan I guess I should have always been.