WARRANT STEALS THE SHOW AT DAY TWO IN LIMA
Date: July 22, 2017
Venue: Allen County Fairgrounds
Location: Lima, Ohio, USA
Reviewer: Tyson Briden
A few weeks prior to the Loud N Lima event in Lima, Ohio, USA, the decision was to made to make the long trek from Toronto to this big event down the I-75 to Lima. The dilemma was accommodations. For some time, my wife and I had been talking about possibly buying a camping trailer. Our other option was tent camping. Being that this was something that we had done for so many years prior, we made the plunge and purchased a 19 ft Hybrid trailer with pull out tent sides. Perfect, we’re all set. Prior to buying the trailer, I spoke with Warrant drummer Steven Sweet about the possibility of us coming to the event. Of course, Sweet was ever so gracious and cool. He assured me that he would provide us with passes and tickets for the day of the event. Thank you Steven Sweet.
At roughly 11:45 am on July 21st, we set out, with trailer in tow down the 401 highway. As we were about to get on the highway, we quickly noticed that it was jammed packed with bumper to bumper traffic. Not a good start. We quickly readjusted our route taking a side road that ran adjacent to the Highway 401. Within minutes and a few kilometres, we were on the 401 and moving at a steady 105 km/h pace, which for me was very slow as I generally drive at 120 km/h. But due to the weight of the new trailer, it was more comfortable moving at this pace and would save some gas. This would be a long journey. As we ventured on that trek across the 401, it seemed to take forever. The worst part of the drive was from London, Ontario to Windsor, Ontario. For those who have driven this route, it can be attested that this is an agonizing experience. Roughly before 5:00 pm, we finally made it to the Windsor/Detroit border. As we pulled into the border station, we noticed that there was a minimal line-up and within minutes, we were on the I-75 towards Lima. But wait, what is this up ahead? The I-75 is closed due to road repairs. Great. We quickly noticed a detour route. This detour route would take us through some of the finest housing that Detroit had to offer. In all seriousness, it was an eye opener, but within minutes, we were quickly approaching the suburbs of Detroit. This detour must have went on for about 50 km. Relief finally set in when we merged onto the I-75. We would be in Lima in a couple hours.
We arrived in Lima shortly after 8:00 pm. I was getting a little concerned because it would be dark soon and really it’s not much fun setting up a trailer in the dark. Due to the fact that we really didn’t want to bring much food across the border, we still needed to buy food and beverages for the weekend. We stopped at the first grocery store we saw and quickly found everything we needed. Of course there was a purchase of the weekend’s beer. It is astounding at how cheap one can buy a 30 pack of Miller High Life. $11.99? Are you kidding me? I love the USA for this very reason.
We decided prior to the trip that we would not take in Friday’s bands. As we approached our campsite, it became obvious that even if we weren’t at the stage, we could easily hear the bands. Upon arrival, I immediately heard someone doing a cover of Soundgarden‘s “Outshined.” But who was it? As I would come to find out when the artist broke into his next song, it was none other than Dee Snider. Snider sounded fantastic. As we chilled out beneath our canopy on the trailer, we would hear the next two bands. Steel Panther totally rocked the house as they always do. The last band was one that was very confusing. How does 3 Doors Down fit on this bill? Regardless they sounded decent. I will admit though that they just played too many ballad type songs.
The next morning we would wake up to what would be something that was a little concerning. A thunder storm! On and off for about five hours, it rained. In this time, Steven Sweet would contact me regarding our passes. He joked about us bringing wet suits to the event. Warrant at this time was on route from Kentucky, where they had played the previous night. As the afternoon approached, the rain subsided and it appeared that the day would be filled with sunshine, which it actually turned out to be.
BulletBoys took the stage roughly around 2:00 pm. They opened with the ever so hard hitting “Hard As A Rock” from the band’s self-titled debut album. Vocalist Marq Torien sounded amazing. For those who are unaware, BulletBoys do not have the original line-up that graced MTV back in the late ’80s/early ’90s. Torien is the only original member left. The thing that I have always found amazing about seeing Torien in this incarnation of BulletBoys is that not only does he kill it vocally but he also plays the guitar solos note for note. So for me, it’s a double edged sword. I would much rather see BulletBoys with the original line-up, but at this moment, I will take whatever I can get. The voice is there and I think that is enough to satisfy all those in attendance. The next song opened with the ever so popular “One, two, fuck you.” “Hell On My Heels” sounded spectacular. Torien and company were doing a great job of warming up the audience. The band then broke into the O’Jays classic “For The Love Of Money.” Does it sound as good as it did with the original line-up? Well… close enough to satisfy the average listener. BulletBoys ended this short but killer set with “Smooth Up In Ya.” Still to this day, this song really moves me. Overall, BulletBoys were a good warm-up to what was to come.
01. Hard As A Rock
02. Hell On My Heels
03. For The Love Of Money
04. Smooth Up In Ya
I could not wait to see SteelHeart. There was a time when singer Miljenko Matijevic was my favorite vocalist. As the years have passed, I have gravitated towards vocalists that are more earthy and sing to the song rather than just show the world how great they can sing or scream. Don’t take that the wrong way, because I really do love Matijevic‘s voice. It’s just my preference of singers is more geared towards people like Robert Mason and Paul Laine these days. SteelHeart opened with the powerful “Blood Polution” from the Rockstar soundtrack. It really sounded fantastic. That song is the perfect opener. It has so much power and really makes for a perfect reference of what is to come from SteelHeart. Up next was yet another Rockstar composition. “Livin’ The Life” sounded exactly as it appeared in the movie with Matijevic looking a little different then he did back in the ’90s. The long blonde flowing hair is gone. Instead, he has a short, dark cut. Matijevic is still looking like a total rockstar though and his voice has not been lost over the years. “Like Never Before” from Steelheart‘s debut album sounded just like it did back in 1990 when the album was released. “Cabernet” was a song I was unfamiliar with unfortunately. To be honest, I can’t even recall what it sounded like, so I would think to me it wasn’t that memorable. “Everybody Loves Eileen” sounded amazing. I love the build up in this song and the clean guitar intro really adds a great depth to this song. Matijevic was on the top of his game on this song.
At this point in the show, we were still sitting back in the grandstand. The portion in front of the stage was very muddy and many of the people watching up front were wearing rubber boots, so from my perspective it was best to just hang back and enjoy the performance without dealing with the mud. “She’s Gone” was yet another song from the first album. At this point, I was starting to get a little disappointed at the song selection. My feeling was that SteelHeart had many songs that would keep the crowd’s attention much better. As the show moved forward, Matijevic was brought an acoustic guitar. As he was checking the guitar’s sound, he stopped and apologized to the audience because it was not working as he had hoped. A minute passed and everything seemed to be coming together. The intro to “I’ll Never Let You Go” was much slower and created a nice segway into the actual song. I have never been a huge fan of this song for some reason, so as great as it may have sounded, I was looking to the next song. SteelHeart closed out the set with yet another Rockstar song. The bass intro to “We All Die Young” came booming through. As much as I loved this song in the movie, it just didn’t do it for me in a live setting.
As much as SteelHeart tried, they just never really caught my attention as I had hoped. I felt that the show would have flowed much better had they played “Love Ain’t Easy” or “Can’t Stop Me Loving You” from the debut album I previously spoke of. It was also disappointing that the band played nothing off the Tangled In The Reins album. “Sticky Side Up” or “Late For The Party” would have really been nice additions to the performance and I feel would have caught the attention of the audience much better. I am note sure if Matijevic feels these songs are not as strong or as known as the Rockstar soundtrack, but being a SteelHeart fan for many years, I wanted SteelHeart songs from the albums past, not rehashed versions of songs from a movie. There is always something about songs that are put into a movie. There is a reason they are placed in a scene. They fit at that time and place.
01. Blood Pollution
02. Livin’ The Life
03. Like Never Before
05. Everybody Loves Eileen
06. She’s Gone
07. I’ll Never Let You Go
08. We All Die Young
SteelHeart performing “I’ll Never Let You Go” live at Loud N Lima (Day Two) on July 22, 2017:
Steelheart performing “I’ll Never Let You Go (Angel Eyes)” at Loud-N-Lima in Lima, OH, on Saturday, July 22, 2017.
Having seen Firehouse the previous month in Seneca Falls, New York with Warrant, I knew what I was in for — a rock solid performance! It was at this point that we decided to move into the mud. As we approached, we walked gingerly through the wet ground. I felt like I was having flashbacks of Woodstock. Not quite to the extent of that festival from way back in 1969, but there was quite a bit of mud to contend with. We found a great spot that was mud free that was fairly close to the stage. Firehouse opened as they have for the past while with “Shake & Tumble” from their self-titled debut album. From there, it was into one of my absolute favorite Firehouse tunes. “All She Wrote” sounded incredibly good. There was something about enjoying hard rock music, the sun and a beverage on a Saturday afternoon. I was in heaven. Singer C.J. Snare has such a fantastic voice and always sounds dead on. In terms of guitarist of Bill Leverty, the man is a virtuoso in his own right. I love watching this man play. He plays everything with ease and finesse. Keeping the show going, Firehouse immediately broke into “Oughta Be A Law.” It was obvious at this point, that to this day, Firehouse‘s debut album is a pure gem with every song being executed perfectly. It is chalk full of guitar heavy anthems. Drummer Michael Foster, as always, was a true showman. It was hard not to just focus on his performance alone. “Overnight Sensation” kept the flow of the show going. Knowing that each band’s set would be shorter than usual, I was not wanting the moment to end.
With Firehouse doing four fast rockers in a row, it was time to slow it down slightly. “Love Of A Lifetime” brought the crowd to its knees. Everyone could be heard singing along to this epic ballad that has been played as the first dance at many a weddings in the past I am sure. I couldn’t help but notice how Leverty executed the guitar solo perfectly. I watched as his hand covered the strings as he did a cool pick tap at the crescendo portion of the solo. “Reach For The Sky” would be the only composition played from the Hold Your Fire album. The lead off track from this album sounded like pure ear ecstasy. The drive of this song played on the crowd very well. Once the band kicked into “Don’t Treat Me Bad”, it was obvious that their performance would soon be coming to an end. Just as they did when I had seen them a month before, this fantastic set was closed out with KISS‘ classic “Rock N Roll All Nite.” As Firehouse were saying their goodbyes to the crowd, singer CJ Snare mentioned that bass player Allen McKenzie, who was wearing an Ohio state shirt during the performance, was indeed a native of Ohio state. And just like that, Firehouse left the stage. So far the best performance of the day.
01. Shake & Tumble
02. All She Wrote
03. Oughta Be A Law
04. Overnight Sensation
05. Love Of A Lifetime
06. Reach For The Sky
07. Don’t Treat Me Bad
08. Rock N’ Roll All Nite
Geoff Tate’s Operation Mindcrime:
It was at this point that my wife and I decided to venture back to our campsite. It would be some time between sets, so a break was in order. When we got back to the site it was decided that we would sit and listen to Mindcrime from the site. My honest feeling on this band was really met with mixed feelings. At one time I was a huge fan of Tate‘s, but after the singer’s dismissal from the band, I kind of leaned towards Queensrÿche carrying on with the great vocals of Todd La Torre. As we were sitting there, Mindcrime hit the stage with the classic Queensrÿche track “Empire.” Tate really did sound on his game. But us hearing this performance would be short lived. There was a gentleman who was camping directly across from us who had brought out a huge set of speakers. Well, he had them blaring well above Mindcrime‘s performance. Honestly we were enjoying the music he had to offer — UFO‘s “Doctor, Doctor”, KISS‘ “Domino” and a few other great classics. It was decided we would just wait ’til Lita Ford to come on to go back to the stage. From talking to people, I was told that Mindcrime‘s performance was amazing and they did all the Queensrÿche songs pure justice. I apologize for having nothing to offer in terms of this band, but it was to be a long day, so it was best to take a break, catch our breath and wait in anticipation of what was to come.
Geoff Tate’s Operation Mindcrime’s setlist:
03. I Don’t Believe In Love
04. Silent Lucidity
05. Re-Inventing The Future
06. Walk In The Shadows
07. Eyes Of A Stranger
08. Jet City Woman
Geoff Tate’s Operation Mindcrime performing “Damaged” live at Loud N Lima (Day Two) on July 22, 2017:
Allen County Fairgrounds
As we made our way back towards the stage, Lita Ford was just getting ready to give her performance. “Gotta Let Go” opened the show perfectly. It’s a hard driving track from her 1984 album Dancin’ On The Edge. Ford was looking great with her cool replica Stolli Vodka Bottle guitar draped around her. We were fairly close to the stage and it obvious to see that Ford was still a very beautiful woman who really had taken good care of herself throughout the years she was away from the business. Of course, yes she is a little bit older, but could still make’s an older guy like myself nervous in her presence. As she broke into “Larger Than Life” from her 1991 release Dangerous Curves, I watched as a few men in the audience were really not getting what Ford had to offer. I would hope in this day and age, that the stereotype of a woman rocking out was not in their minds because I can honestly say that Ford kicks ass. Her guitar playing is stellar. Compounded with the fact that she is also singing is a great feat in itself. I have nothing but the utmost respect for what Ford brings to the table.
“Relentless” would be the first offering from her 2012 release Living Like A Runaway. It’s a rocking track that really had the audience eating out of her hands. As Ford broke into the next track “Living Like A Runaway”, she told of a story of her days in L.A., being hired as the guitarist of The Runaways. Her mother had encouraged her to go out and kick ass. It was obvious that Ford‘s encouragement from her mother all those years back had stuck with her throughout her long career. Her face lit up with a smile with the mere mention of her mother, which really made for an intimate moment.
It was at this time in the show that Ford broke out songs from the album that really put her on the map. “Can’t Catch Me” would be the first offering from her 1988 album Lita. It sounded ever so sweet and she continued to prove to the audience that she had come do some serious damage on this day. “Back To The Cave” would continue the onslaught on the audience. I watched very closely to drummer Bobby Rock as he pounded those skins like a mad man. It was an honor to be in this man’s presence as I have been following his career since his days with the Vinnie Vincent Invasion. As I am writing, I must make mention that throughout the weekend, three of the four former members of the Invasion were gracing the stage in Lima. Mark Slaughter on Friday night with Scrap Metal, of course Rock with Lita Ford and Dana Strum on Sunday night with Vince Neil. But where is Vinnie? We may never have an answer to that question.
“Cherry Bomb” — a song recorded by Ford‘s former band The Runaways — would really put the audience in a frenzy. Everyone could be seen singing along. “Close My Eyes Forever” was the song that everyone had been waiting for. I really loved how they executed it with guitarist Patrick Kennison trading off vocals with Ford, singing the Ozzy Osbourne parts. Kennison really did a superb job of replicating Osbourne‘s ever so popular voice. As the guitar solo approached, I waited intently because in my eyes this is one of Ford‘s greatest achievements as a guitar player. It’s just one of those guitar solos that resonates throughout and leaves you envious of Ford‘s prowess as a player. Ford closed out her set with “Kiss Me Deadly.” It’s a track that really captures you as a listener. It is such an infectious song, with a hook that grabs you and pulls you in tightly. As the set came to a close, I was left feeling as though I could hear more. It was at this point that I decided that it would be in my best interest to catch Ford during a show on her own. There are so many songs that I would love to hear her perform. “Shot of Poison”, “Playin With Fire” and “Falling In And Out of Love” all come to mind. In terms of performances on this day, Ford comes in at a close second to Firehouse… so far!!!
Lita Ford’s setlist:
01. Gotta Let Go
02. Larger Than Life
04. Living Like A Runaway
05. Can’t Catch Me
06. Back To The Cave
07. Cherry Bomb
08. Close My Eyes Forever
09. Kiss Me Deadly
It was at this point in the night that we made our way to the backstage area. Steven Sweet and I had been in contact, so I knew he would soon arrive. Within minutes, Warrant arrived at the venue. Sweet and I said our hellos. It was close to show time, so Sweet ventured off to his dressing room to prep for the nights events. My wife and I decided to grab a beer and waited intently in the backstage area for Warrant to begin. Warrant came out all guns blazing as “Down Boys” tantilized the appetites of all those in attendance. As usual, singer Robert Mason was in fine form. It was obvious that Mason works very hard to stay in terrific shape. Mason moves around quite a bit on stage and he never looks out of breath. Up next would be “Big Talk.” The band sounded perfect. Although these are songs that the late Jani Lane had sung previously, Mason makes them all his own. In terms of singers, Mason is number one on my list. When it comes to Joey Allen, he has quickly become one of my current favorite guitarists. His work especially on the last two Warrant albums is exceptional. Warrant kept the crowd rocking as they moved forward into the title cut from DRFSR. Drummer Steven Sweet, was really doing a great job of keeping the band in check. His timing was immaculate and he puts everything he has into his performance. Sweet is a true professional.
Warrant went into “Heaven” and the venue irrupted. All could be heard singing along. From there, the band kept the moment going as the guitar intro to “Sometimes She Cries” was heard. To me, there aren’t many bands that have the reportoire of songs that can keep the audience rocking like Warrant does. The catalog of material is so hook laden that they could play for three hours straight and keep everyone’s attention. At this point in the show, Warrant broke out the first composition from the 1990’s Cherry Pie album. ” Sure Feels Good To Me” sounded spectacular. I believe at the previous show I had been at, Warrant did not play this one. It’s such an arena rock song and a sure audience catcher. My favorite ballad of all time was up next. “I Saw Red” did not disappoint. Mason gave me chills as he poured all his emotion into this true rock ballad. As always, the mid section before the solo captured me deep down inside. “Louder, Harder, Faster” introduced the crowd to the new Warrant. Allen‘s guitar work on this song really excites me. I love how he works the wah on the guitar solo with a fast run at the end that is magical. Bassist Jerry Dixon and guitarist Erik Turner really gave this song such life keeping the rhythm tight and even. As I think about this song, and there are those that may be pissed off at me for saying it, but I am one who believes in moving forward, rather than backwards. Warrant could play a whole show with material from the last two albums and I would be perfectly happy with that. Both those albums are so solid, that in a live setting, they could stand on their own. But of course, when people go to see Warrant, there is an expectation to hear the hits and I totally get that. It’s just a pipe dream of mine because of my pure affection for the last two Warrant albums.
It was at this point in the show that I quickly realized the show would be coming to an end. As the band broke into “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, I was feeling somewhat sad knowing that the band I looked so forward to seeing perform live would soon be leaving the stage, but I sucked it up and thoroughly enjoyed the remainder of the show. “Cherry Pie” — the popular anthem that is still heard on a regular basis pretty well anywhere you go and is also the song that most people associate Warrant to — sounded fantastic. The crowd was singing along and loving every minute of it. All in all, Warrant stole the day.
As the band started coming off the stage, I am standing off in the back with all the guys are walking by me, Erik Turner saw my Warrant shirt and commented, “Hey, nice shirt!!!” I laughed and replied with a “Hey, thanks Erik!” As Robert Mason came off the stage, he was shirtless and sweating profusely, but he still stopped to talk to those in the backstage area. I am astounded at the amazing shape that Mason is in. Please take that with a grain of salt. I am one who believes in taking care of themselves, so to see another human being really taking care of themselves, although envious, I am the first to give a positive comment. Kudos to Mason. The last one to leave the stage was Steven Sweet. Sweet stopped to chat with me for a moment, but he looked drained. He just poured everything into his performance and it showed. And don’t think for a second that Sweet is unfit to play. From conversations with Sweet and just by looking at him, he as well is very fit. Slim, trim and not showing a sign of aging whatsoever. He stated “I’ll be back to hang out, hold tight!”
01. Down Boys
02. Big Talk
05. Sometimes She Cries
06. Sure Feels Good To Me
07. Louder Harder Faster
08. Uncle Tom’s Cabin
09. Cherry Pie
Warrant performing “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” at Loud N Lima (Day Two) on July 22, 2017:
As Bret was about to take the stage, I as still in the backstage area. Within minutes of Warrant leaving the stage, Michaels was ready to go. As he walked towards me, I saw something that impressed me to no end. On the way to the stage, Michaels was stopping to take photos and shaking hands on his way to perform. That to me is true professionalism. Michaels understands what it takes to appease his fan base.
Michaels opened up his set with the Poison classic “Talk Dirty To Me” but something didn’t sound right to me. At first, I couldn’t put my finger on it. Then I quickly realized it was the drum beat. This is when I quickly lost interest. There is just something about the guy who played on the song, performing the song live. Say what you want about Poison drummer Rikki Rockett, but nobody drums like Rockett. He has a flare in his playing that is hard to duplicate. It’s almost swing like. In the beginning, Rockett was more of a show drummer, but as the years have gone on, he has become a very solid player. With all this said, in my eyes, without C.C. Deville, Bobby Dall and Rockett backing him, Michaels just comes up short. With that said, all of Michaels‘ players are fantastic. It just says a lot about the chemistry of certain bands. I feel the same way about Vince Neil. There are those that pull it off. Take Alice Cooper for instance. He has used hired guns for years and always puts on a fantastic show.
Michaels quickly went into the Poison classic “Look What The Cat Dragged” from the album of the same title. It’s at this time that Steven Sweet appeared to my left. At first, I did not recognize him as his hair was tied back and I quickly had to take a double take. Sweet and myself stood and talked while Michaels went into the Lynyrd Skynyrd classic “Sweet Home Alabama.” I honestly wasn’t paying that much attention to Michaels as Sweet and I were enthralled in deep conversation about family, life, etc. From getting to know Sweet in the last few months, I have come to learn, for those interested, he is a very smart, well spoken and an extremely creative individual with an amazing sense of humor. I really enjoyed my time spent with Sweet at Lima. As Michaels kept playing, Sweet asked me if I’d like to come hang back at the Warrant trailer. Of course, without a doubt, I would love to meet the other guys in Warrant! Mason I had previously met in June in person, but we had also talked via phone interview back in May, as had I with Jerry Dixon as well.
As we entered the trailer, the guys in Warrant were upbeat and relaxed. I myself am not afraid to admit this. I was somewhat nervous. This is their circle and being an outsider, I could understand if they were giving me the once over. Me being a little nervous, I was being inquisitive, you know where you see something and you ask the question to keep the flow going as to not stand there and say nothing. Sweet did his best to make me comfortable being as courteous and generous as he could, which eased my nerves somewhat. Dixon was very funny at times making the odd comment that made me laugh. In all, the Warrant guys were very friendly and laid back.
I will say this about Warrant and I apologize to those expecting a full review of Bret Michaels, but this was what was happening during Michaels‘ set. I have been around many bands over the last few years and I can say Warrant are one of the hardest working, professional bands I have seen. Up until 2011, Warrant‘s Dog Eat Dog was my favorite album by the band. It wasn’t until 2011’s Rockaholic album that that opinion changed. That was just the beginning, this year’s release of Louder Harder Faster, in my eyes is the most cohesive, rocking album Warrant have ever done. There are those Jani Lane fans who will comment at the end of this review about this and that, but remember, some things just can’t be changed.
So just as it started, it quickly came to an end. A gentleman from Warrant‘s camp came in and announced to the guys that their ride had arrived. Joey Allen who was still seated, got up, shook my hand and headed out with Sweet following. Sweet and I said our goodbyes and they rode off into the sunset with visions of the next show placed firmly in their minds.
It was back to catch the rest of Michaels‘ set. As I walked through the backstage area, Michaels was well into “Unskinny Bop.” I will admit it sounded great. I decided I would go back to my campsite and listen to the remainder of Michaels‘ set. In my eyes, Warrant could not be topped, so off I went. There I met up with my wife who had been right up front during most of Warrant‘s set. We sat and listened as Michaels and band plowed through a few more Poison classics. How did they sound you may ask? Like Poison songs sung by the singer and a backing band. As I stated previously, I’d prefer the whole band. Michaels as always, did a great job of entertaining those who were in attendance and as always, he gave 100%. So I would never take anything away from Michaels as a vocalist and performer, but for me I’d just rather see him fronting the band that made him famous.
Now you may read this and think, this guy is contradicting himself slightly. Let me explain… In terms of Warrant, it is the remaining four original members with one kick ass vocalist fronting the band. In terms of Bret Michaels, all the Poison guys are still alive and well with the band playing selective dates this summer. It seems confusing that the promoter would not book Poison instead. Now that is not information I am privy to and who really knows what the logistics concerning Poison are. It could have come down to cost possibly, but I wonder what 3 Doors Down, a band who really didn’t fit the bill would have cost? Could the promoter not have booked Poison instead? Thoughts to ponder.
Bret Michaels’ setlist:
01. Talk Dirty To Me
02. Look What The Cat Dragged In
03. Sweet Home Alabama
04. Your Mama Don’t Dance
05. Something To Believe In
06. Unskinny Bop
07. Drum Solo
08. Every Rose Has Its Thorn
09. Nothin’ But A Good Time
10. Rock And Roll All Nite
Bret Michaels performing “Rock And Roll All Nite” at Loud N Lima (Day Two) on July 22, 2017:
In conclusion, looking back at this event, I feel that moving forward, the event planners can look at this as a success with a few small hiccups along the way, but being the first one, that is to be expected. Saturday featured many very good artists. Unfortunately, Tom Keifer who was scheduled before Bret Michaels had to cancel due to some throat issues. When it comes to Warrant, it may seem that I am bias. That is not the case. I am a live music fan who has seen hundreds of bands live. Warrant are by far one of the best I have ever seen with the others being Danger Danger, Def Leppard and Sammy Hagar. It just so happens that I have gotten to know Steven Sweet through my writings and he has been nothing but a gentleman to me. As I look to the future, I would much rather see Warrant in their full live setting, on their own with an opener, due in part to the shortened set. If you’re a fan of great live music, you will do the same. The same applies for Lita Ford. Now would I see Bret Michaels again as a solo artist? Not likely, but if it was Poison, absolutely. As for the other bands on the bill, Firehouse, I would see over and over again. BulletBoys, SteelHeart and Geoff Tate’s Operation Mindcrime, although a great addition to the event, not something I am about to stand on my head for.