Sunday, February 01, 2009

KEEL Reunion

Last night I saw KEEL's first reunion concert at the Knitting Factory in Hollywood. This past summer I was able to see Ron Keel's K2 band perform at Rocklahoma and they played a Keel heavy set so I knew a bit of what to expect.

Tonight at the Knitting Factory was a Club Vodka event. Three stages, bands going round the clock and scantily clad dancing girls in the main room for the headlining acts. For KEEL's set they were wearing KEEL shirts. The club was packed and from where I was sitting in the balcony it was solid people from the stage to the back of the floor. A great turnout for this show.

I wasn't in the mood for hearing new music tonight but I was able to catch 4 local bands, some good, some not so good. One band that did catch my attention was Ritual Habits. Good classic metal with a chick bass player that held her own, although she looked like she might still be in high school.

The DJ began to announce some of the VIP's in the audience including members of Black N' Blue, KISS, Cinderella, Quiet Riot and others. Right before KEEL went on Tommy Thayer stood right behind me and watched the entire KEEL set about 10 feet from where I was in the balcony.

Jamie St. James from Black N' Blue introduced KEEL and the debut concert of the reunion started.

January 31, 2009
Knitting Factory
Hollywood, CA

Intro Music From - The Final Frontier
Reason To Rock
Rock And Roll Outlaw
Evil, Wicked, Mean And Nasty
United Nations Intro ->
Somebodys waiting
Speed Demon
Because The Night
Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
Medley: Electric Love -> Cherry Lane -> Let's Spend The Night Together
Raised On Rock
I Said The Wrong Thing To The Right Girl
Tears Of Fire
The Right To Rock

Joined by Jamie St. James (Vocals), Fred Coury (Drums), and Chuck Wright (Bass)
The Boys Are Back In Town (Thin Lizzy)

Guests leave and KEEL band members rejoin with Ron's K2 guitarist and a KEEL crew guy
We're An American Band (Grand Funk Railroad)

Ron sounded great on vocals but the set was troubled with some sound problems and you could barely hear Bryan Jay's lead guitar. KEEL is heavy on the double solos so missing half of the harmonies was a minor disappointment. Near the end of the set Bryan's guitar was finally loud enough to be heard.

I must admit the set list was a bit of a surprise. I was expecting a heavier set focused on material from Lay Down The Law and The Right To Rock. Instead the set covered their entire career with tracks from every album including the surprising set opener Reason To Rock off of their 6th album Back In Action released in the mid 90's.

Highlights of course included the hits The Right To Rock, they even brought out the kid from the video although he is no longer a kid, and Tears Of Fire. Other highlights included Raised On Rock featuring Dwain Miller on the Michael Des Barres vocals, and of course my all time favorite KEEL song Rock And Roll Outlaw.

They just announced a set on the mainstage at Rocklahoma this year so I'm hoping for a slightly heavier set with some more songs off of Lay Down The Law and The Final Frontier. The band looked and sounded great but you can tell it may take just a few shows before they are comfortable in front of an audience again. The band gave us our money's worth playing a setlist you couldn't predict and closing out the show with special guests at around 2:15am.

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