Re: MRF3 highlights
Posted by: Honestabe30 ()
Date: October 03, 2013 04:17PM

Highlights? Oh so much good stuff. But the highlights for me were:

Friday:
Gary Schutt: ok, so I wasn't really familiar with his music at all going in, but he was really good...especially given that it was just him, a microphone, a plugged in guitar and backing tracks. And great sense of humor too. He mentioned he'll have to come back with a full band. I managed to find his Playthings CD later at the Impulse Music booth.

Robert Tepper- great performer and good sense of humor. His set motivated me to buy his latest CD at the merchandise table afterward. Which I told him when he was walking past my table later as I was eating. Seemed genuinely appreciative of the feedback and the purchase. Besides new material and No Easy Way Out and Angel of the City, he also played the hit Benny Mardones song Into the Night, which he co-wrote.

Eric Martin: first time seeing him live (never seen Mr. Big live either). Good set of songs, great sense of humor. I really enjoyed when he was joined onstage. He invited Jeff Scott Soto onstage to sing Wild World with him and they were soon joined by Kelly Keeling, Glen Burtnik, Joe Retta, and David Reece. Afterward, Eric called them the Jeff Scott Soto Players and invited them to "gang rape" him onstage anytime. Later, during To Be With You, he was joined by JSS, Kelly Keeling, Glen Burtnik, and Erik Martinson. Fun. Burtnik even jumped behind the drum kit later. It was very cool meeting Eric afterward...he took time to chat with each person and pose for pictures.

Bonrud: great rockin' set from them afterward. Apparently their singer couldn't make it to MRF so Paul Bonrud invited an old friend that he'd wanted to work with for a long time to sing with them. Can't remember his name but the guy did a great job with the songs.

Saturday:
7th Heaven: Love these guys. Got introduced to their music at MRF2 and was glad they were back for this one. Keith Semple back on lead vocals and they were great. As already stated, they skipped the 30 songs in 30 minutes medley and did all original material, including We Live Life Young from the latest CD that they'd recorded with Federov. Did, I think, three songs from Pop Media, including Sing. They did Better This Way, Cellophane, This Summer's Gonna Last Forever, and (personal fav) Gravity all from USA/UK. Richie told me afterward he thinks they may convince Keith to stay and that there are plans for 7H to record 2 CDs next year - one dance oriented and one rock oriented.

Heaven & Earth...scheduled to play an acoustic set but had asked Andrew shortly before MRF if they could plug in and play instead. They were phenomenal! Their keyboard player is wild! Retta is a heck of a frontman. I did notice they had a different bass player (not Chuck Wright). Mostly focused on material from Dig, but they pulled out the song Heaven & Earth (originally sung by Joe Lynn Turner, of course) from the first CD and man, if Joe Retta didn't smoke that song. Really did it justice!

W.E.T....they were a definite highlight of the weekend. As great and melodic and rocking and energetic as they are on CD, they were even more so live. My first time seeing Soto and he is such a good front man. They focused on songs from both W.E.T. discs, but also threw in Talisman's Break Your Chains and I'll Be Waiting. Soto invited Coldspell's bass player on to show the American audience what to do when it was the audience's turn to sing during I'll Be Waiting...and the guy did this, like, death metal growl version...Soto was surprised and laughing and tried to mimic it afterwards. It was hilarious!

Sunday:
No Love Lost: new band on Kivel Records, debut CD released at MRF 3. They are a good, rocking, high energy band. Singer had a very unique vibe about him. Then, near the end of a good set of original material, they busted out this great version of Whitesnake's Still of the Night. Wow!

Coldspell: so one of the mixed blessings of melodicrock.com for me is I get turned on to all these great bands from around the world...but I will likely never see most of them live. Coldspell was one of those bands for me so I was really excited when they were announced originally as one of the bands for this MRF. And they did not disappoint! Fantastic set. And they were all very cool guys to meet. Got a great picture with the whole band afterward, which now graces my Facebook page.

House of Lords: this was a cool one for me because House of Lords was the opening act for my first ever concert back in 1989 (38 Special w/House of Lords) and I've not seen them since. James mentioned onstage that Chicago was the site of his 2nd ever House of Lords gig, so I told him later that they'd been my first ever band to see live. Anyway, fantastic set...very different lineup from the old days but the band is so good and solid. And James looked and sounded great, especially in light of his recent health problems. I'm bad with remembering exact running order, but I think I can get most of the songs they played: opened with Sahara, also played S.O.S. (In America), Big Money, Come to My Kingdom, Cartesian Dreams, I Wanna Be Loved, Pleasure Palace, Love Don't Lie, Can't Find My Way Home, a few other newer songs which I can't recall at the moment, and set closer Slip of the Tongue. Plus each of the guys got to do a solo.

Steve Augeri: I never got to see Journey in the Perry days and haven't had a chance to get out and see them with Arnel, but I saw them 4 times when Augeri was fronting. So this was special to me. Got to meet him beforehand and he was every bit as nice as people say. Great guy. And I can happily say his vocal problems from the end of his Journey days seem to be behind him. He sounded great and as has been stated, just got stronger as the night went on. Someone had speculated to me beforehand whether Soto would join him onstage and he did not. But he did watch part of Augeri's set from the bar, which I thought was a cool sign of respect. Again, not sure exact running order but I can get most of the songs played by him and his backing band (Valentine plus two female backing singers): opened with Separate Ways, then played Wild On the Run, also played two or three of his new songs, Stone in Love, Lights, Jamie (from his Tyketto days), Higher Place, Faithfully, Don't Stop Believin', Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin' (which included a bit of Rocky Mountain Way in it before the na-na's), Be Good To Yourself (with a little Whole Lotta Love), and Anyway You Want It (with some Won't Get Fooled Again). Steve himself played guitar quite a bit, including trading licks with his guitar player on some of the bluesy parts. Great show, very satisfying.

Eclipse: another "never going to see live" Swedish band that I was really looking forward to. They did not disappoint. very high energy set, Martinsen is a great frontman. They mostly played stuff from Bleed and Scream, including Wake Me Up, Bleed and Scream, two versions of Battlegrounds, A Bitter Taste, and After the End of the World. Also played To Mend a Broken Heart, Hometown Calling, and Wylde One. JSS joined them onstage for one song, but I can't remember which. I do know it was an Eclipse song and not a bonus W.E.T. song or anything.

So those were all my highlights, but that isn't to take anything away from the others. Great performances all around including the lesser known acts like the radio sun, InnerSiege, and Crossing Rubicon. Tango Down, AdrianGale, Ted Poley, Harem Scarem...on and on, great sets from all.

Honorable mention to Bombay Black for performing "Stand Up" with Jeff Scott Soto watching the whole thing from the side of the stage. When Erik Johnson hit that first "Yeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh!", JSS's fist shot up in the air. Cool moment.

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SubjectViewsWritten ByPosted
MRF3 highlights 688 mbalogh 10/03/2013 06:18AM
Re: MRF3 highlights 446 mbalogh 10/03/2013 06:41AM
Re: MRF3 highlights 421 Melodicmax 10/03/2013 08:58AM
Re: MRF3 highlights 408 mhenders 10/03/2013 09:30AM
Re: MRF3 highlights415 Honestabe30 10/03/2013 04:17PM
Re: MRF3 highlights 233 Doug Wolfgang 10/04/2013 12:28AM
Re: MRF3 highlights 235 SoMuchMusicSoLittleTime 10/04/2013 01:00AM
Re: MRF3 highlights 220 Doug Wolfgang 10/04/2013 01:27AM
Re: MRF3 highlights 233 PaulBonrud 10/04/2013 01:09AM
Re: MRF3 highlights 178 Honestabe30 10/04/2013 10:57AM


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