Keep on rockin’
– review of the final day of the festival at Markham Park (Sunrise).
Good afternoon, South Florida. Although yesterday left us with sun kissed faces and heavy feet, we still have a whole day of rocking ahead of us! Since we got the gist of how things were working, we decided to sleep in a little and brought a cooler with lots of hydrating choices. Luckily, the sun stayed hidden. “I don’t know if I can take another day of direct sunlight,” a fellow on-goer explains.
At 1 pm the music began to ring over the park. Quiet Riot was the first show of the day. Immediately into their set they got right into their classics, Slick Black Cadillac and Mama Weer all Crazee Now. With Frankie Banali banging on the drums, things definitely got ‘crazee.’
Next, just like Vixen, we had another Florida representative as Slaughter took to the stage and their drummer was not holding back his love for the Sunshine State. It was pretty cool how he threw his sticks up and caught it epically – every time. They slaughtered through hit tracks The Wild Life, Burnin’ Bridges, Mad About You, Fly to the Angels, and Up All Night. After Slaughter’s 7-song set list, Geoff Tate (of Queensryche) took the stage. Although, the set was short and sweet, the band was everything but… Geoff played notable tracks Jet City Woman, Silent Lucidity and Re-Inventing the Future. As a guitar enthusiast, my personal favorite was Silent Lucidity due to the backup vocalist playing two guitars at once to that melodic charm on the acoustic.
After Geoff Tate’s performance, we headed to the media tent to meet up with Sebastian Bach. In the tent, Bach mentioned that he’s currently writing a book, which he’ll begin touring April 27th. He will be visiting Jacksonville to start, then carrying onto to fifty other cities!
Next, Skid Row was back in action. Sebastian Bach played hit songs Sweet Little Sister (which was the first time he played it live since 2007), Piece of Me, Big Guns and The Threat. To our surprise, we actually had something to celebrate – famed rock personality Eddie Trunk led the crowd to sing Happy Birthday for Sebastian. He was ecstatic, nonetheless. However, the unique performance show didn’t end there as the band finish things off with Rattlesnake Shake (another hit not played since 2006), I Remember You and as a perfect close Youth Gone Wild. “1987, still rocking into 2017…I’ve had a killer time of rock n’ roll” Bach said.
As sun finally disappeared into the night, Ratt came to the stage, but not without a bit of a hiccup. Early into the set, the band dealt with a few technical difficulties, but weathered through it with spirits high during Dance Dance Dance, Way Cool Jr and You’re in Love. However, one of the coolest things during the set was when they pulled the really young boy from the school of rock band Xrush to sing along with them. The boy truly sang with confidence and rocked it – he was pulled onto that stage for a reason!
Next, fellow Kiss rocker, Ace Frehley took over the night. Rocket Ride, Parasite (drummer, Scott Coogan with lead vocals) and Love Gun began the set. Halfway through the set, bassist slapped, tabbed and sprinted his way through a thumping solo. To get in on some of the action, Frehley let on loose on the guitar as well. These guys were rocking with full force and ended the set with Kiss’s Deuce.
The night closed with last, but certainly not the least, Mr. Paul Rodgers (from Queen, Bad Company and The Firm). Prior to his performance, I was privileged to meet him and his wife and I got to say they have to be two of the most down to earth people I’ve ever met. Much should be expected considering that Paul spends a lot of his extra time as a philanthropist for children. In fact, his latest 10-track album, THE ROYAL SESSION will be using proceeds to go toward the Eisner Pediatric Foundation. The album he claims is a musical depiction of his lifelong, passionate journey. Rocking since 1968, Paul Rodgers showed off his talent tonight! He elegantly played the piano to start the night, then quickly moved into Bad Company’s Feel Like Makin’ Love and Shooting Star before performing Radioactive from The Firm. However, into his encore, he continued to play Bad Company’s hit songs like Rock ‘N’ Roll Fantasy and Bad Company. Vocally he was just on a whole other level.
Overall, 80’s Rockfest was one for the books! Founder Roy Anthony definitely deserves a round of an applause, because this festival’s first production was a hit. Talking to media specialists and Rockfest coordinators, perhaps Markham Park is just beginning to open her arms for future events. 90’s Music Festival, anyone?