Kix rocks Altar Bar Jan29

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Kix rocks Altar Bar

2015 is going to be quite a monumental year for legendary hard rockers Kix. Not only does it mark the thirtieth anniversary of their landmark classic Midnite Dynamite, but it also sees the band headlining the annual M3 Festival this year in support of their latest offering of in your face good time Rock N Roll, the aptly titled Rock Your Face Off on Loud & Proud Records and- on a cold snowy January evening in Pittsburgh, Kix fans young and old were treated to a sneak peak of that show.

Local artists Midknight Rose got the metaphorical snowball rolling with a mix of old school 70’s flavored originals and classic rock covers including Deep Purple and one of the heaviest and slowest renditions of “The Green Manalishi (With the Two Pronged Crown” in recent memory. The lead singers full length leather jacket and bald head even had a Judas Priest vibe to it.

Another local artist named The Krush kept the momentum going with a killer set of classic hair metal tinged hard rock in the vein of Poison that on any other night would probably be somewhat out of place, but tonight was a welcomed addition that was very well received by the crowd.

Their lead singer stole the show and was quite charming. Not only did he have a decent voice, but he manhandled the hell out his guitar, often playing it over handed and using tons of finger tapping techniques. Well done gentlemen.

Pittsburgh’s own Sick Sense was next and it only took mere moments to see why they are widely regarded as the very best the city has to offer. The entire band owned every single inch of the stage with an infectious batch of big radio ready melodic modern hard rock similar to Godsmack, Shinedown or Disturbed.

The fact that band is not a household name is an utter travesty as you would think they had been doing this all their young lives and the hometown crowd ate it up. They did a fantastic job getting the crowd revved up for Kix, keep your eye on this very promising new band they are currently generating as much buzz as a swarm of Killer Bees.

Kix took the stage to a thunderous applause that shook the building’s very foundation. Ladies and Gentlemen, the Rock Show had begun. As always, frontman Steve Whiteman was a raw nerve of energy thrashing about the stage. Practically daring people to even try to take his picture by never standing still, he shimmied across the stage, often down on his knees playing his harmonica and getting in the pit to get close to the fans. To this day he is still one of Rock N Roll’s best and most dynamic frontmen.

Whiteman was also comical asking after the very first song, “Did everyone Cum?,” asking, “What the fuck did I do with that harmonica” and gleefully having the crowd shout out “MTV SUCKS!

The rest of the band was in rare form and looked and sounded just as good as they did in their heyday and the response for songs like “The Itch,” “Girl Money” and “Don’t Close Your Eyes” was massive. They even found time for a Ronnie “10/10” Younkins guitar solo and a Jimmy Chalfant drum solo.

By now the place was so packed you could no longer move, but that didn’t lessen the impact of showstoppers like “Cold Shower,” “Cold Blood” and “Blow My Fuse” one little bit. In fact it probably added to the energy now flowing back and forth from the stage to the ravenous crowd.

By the time they returned to the stage for the encores of “Midnite Dynamite” and “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah” the fans were nearly spent, but found a whole new level of energy and rocked their asses off.

“Yeah, Yeah, Yeah” still brings the house down and Whiteman’s comical rant in the middle is longer and more entertaining than ever and a staple that has closed the band’s live show pretty much since the bands inception.

When it comes to rock concerts, it doesn’t get any better than that.

-Eric Hunker

Pre-show interview with Steve Whiteman

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