House of Blues; Hollywood, CA; 11/28/00

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

It was an inspiring evening.

First, we learned that there are still great new bands out there: TIDEWATER GRAIN hit the stage with an explosive set, playing with a passion that was fast and furious and yet not based solely in anger. Refreshing? You bet! This is a band that proves that you can still rock hard without being destructive and without being a wimp. They were perhaps the wrong openers for the acts to follow - Tidewater Grain's music is much harder and less commercial, especially live, than either Pretty Boy Floyd or Dokken - but they certainly warmed up the audience. Especially the last tune of their set (and title track of their new CD) "Here on the Outside." A great set!

PRETTY BOY FLOYD served up their dosage of rock'n'roll cheese next and pulled it off successfully. Having been a fan of this Floyd in the early days, I was surprised and pleased to see that a) they still have fun doing what they do and b) they still play competently and strongly. Sure, the pink hair was a little much and the drummer (who rocked hard nonetheless) looked as though he were a fan just thrilled to be there, but the band was excellent, relishing the pure raunchy cheesiness of their sound, and their big hits from the early days well-received. In fact, material from their latest recording, "Porn Stars," was well-received as well.

Finally, DOKKEN took the stage. My biggest complaint about Dokken's live performances over the past years is that they take themselves too seriously. They'd get on stage and play their music like their were Judas Priest or some other darker metal band. They aren't and it was bo-ring! Tonight, however, Don Dokken and crew (including guitarist Reb Beach, who replaced George Lynch) were in fine form, joking around, laughing up a storm between songs, really enjoying the music as they played and reveled in the response from the crowd. Dokken re-gained some of my respect this evening, and the audience loved every moment. Dokken plans on releasing a live VHS/DVD/CD and, if it's closer to this House of Blues performance than previous, more sober, Dokken shows, it should be a winner. 

All in all, a great evening. A little of the new and some encouraging performances by the veterans. 

Special thanks to our waitperson, Danielle. 

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Copyright 2000 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 23 Aug 2016 22:57:15 -0400.