Slaughter and Kix in Pittsburgh reviewed Sep04

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Slaughter and Kix in Pittsburgh reviewed

Veteran melodic rockers Kix and Slaughter are both out on the road right now. Kix are touring to support their latest album Rock Your Face Off and Slaughter, are doing it due to an overwhelming online push by fans that wanted to see them live again.

By a strange, cosmic twist of fate and much to the delight of fans in Greensburg Pennsylvania, both bands found themselves playing the historic Palace Theater on a beautiful summer’s night in August.

Speaking of Twist of Fate, ironically that just happens to be the name of the local band that got the ball rolling that night. They are a covers band comprised of former members of local legends Striknyne & Tangled Grace that peppers their set with some stunning originals and put on one hell of a show. That night was no exception and the band did a killer job of getting the crowd revved up for what was yet to come.

Up next was Kix, who always and after all these years still put on a live show that brings the crowd to their feet and brings the house down every night, everywhere they play.

It takes just mere seconds of opener “Wheels in Motion” from their new album Rock Your Face Off to see why the band was chosen to headline this year’s M3 festival in Maryland.

As usual, the individual band member performances were flawless and classic Kix tracks like “Girl Money,” “Don’t Close Your Eyes,” “Cold Blood” and “Blow My Fuse” sounded better now than they did in their 80’s prime.

Fans were also treated to newer songs like “You’re Gone” and “Love Me With Your Top Down” alongside deeper cuts like “Sex,” “No Ring Around Rosie,” “Cold Shower” and “Hot Wire.”

Frontman Steve Whiteman is a thin and wiry as ever and is not just fun to watch, but is also quite the comedian. Lines like “Does my dick look to big” directed at the young lady standing face to face with his crotch and “I know, you’re thinking boy this fucker got fat” as he took off his shirt had people laughing out loud.

Fantastic set from start to finish. The only drawback was the bands bold decision not to play their signature closer “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah,” due to time restraints. Which left those fans screaming out it’s name a little bummed out, but still thoroughly entertained. Understandable, since that song can run over 15 minutes long itself, with Whiteman’s deliriously entertaining rant in the middle.

At last, the time had come for Slaughter, who right out of the gate, invited the fans to leave their seats and come up front towards the stage, which they were all too happy to do. Now the stage was set for a proper rock concert, which the band delivered in spades.

Now it bears mentioning right off the bat that this was one of the loudest shows in recent memory and as an added bonus, even though the volume was massive, the mix was near perfect. Nonetheless, even the most seasoned concert veterans left with a slight ringing in their ears. Now that’s Rock N Roll!

After all these years, Mark Slaughter’s voice is still extremely strong, his falsetto as piercing as ever and bassist Dana Strum looks and performs as if he has drank from the fountain of youth.

The band is rounded out by guitarist Jeff ‘Blando’ Bland, who replaced original guitarist Tim Kelly when he passed away in 1998 and drummer Zoltan Chaney, who’s been with the band since 2011.

Strum, is an absolute madman that literally attack his instrument with a ferocity rarely seen these days. Frequently going to the front of the stage to get up close and personal with the crowd and Slaughter’s stage presence and command of a crowd are legendary for good reason, they are epic.

Not to be outdone, Blando owns every inch of the stage, his performance bringing to mind a young Randy Rhoads and Chaney is a beast behind the kit that’s hard to take your eyes off, constantly twirling his sticks, throwing them in the air and back and forth with Slaughter. All this while standing, sitting and jumping up and down.

Even after playing all their biggest hits, including “Fly to the Angels” and “Up All Night,” the fans were still screaming for more, not wanting to leave or believe it was over, but sadly it was. Thankfully, not forever, just until the next time.

-Eric Hunker

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