The Old Firestation, Bournemouth

Skid Row

It’s not very often that you get the opportunity these days to see a bona fide legendary rock band in a town like Bournemouth (although we have had our moments over the years!), but it was with great pleasure that I headed along to the The Old Fire Station last Wednesday to take a gander at the mighty Skid Row. Supported by Sister and The Last Vegas, both of whom came highly recommended by friends, all in all big things were expected of the night and there seemed to be a fairly respectable turn-out of people of all ages, proving that decent live music will still pull in a decent sized crowd.

So, first up and hailing from Chicago, The Last Vegas are a powerhouse of a band with some big riffs and some superb musicianship. They faced a tough, medium-sized crowd and gave an enthusiastic performance of songs that included the popular “Come With Me” and “The Other Side”. Whilst the crowd wasn’t exactly going crazy, they did give TLV the appreciation that they deserved at the end of their set.

Sister 1

Up next were Swedish screamers Sister who drew a few more people in for their brand of hardcore metal. Jamie’s vocals reminded me of someone, but I gave up wracking my brain trying to think who it was, contenting myself with the fact that he has a great voice with a good range. At the start of their set I wasn’t that bothered, writing them off as just another screamo band but as they ripped through one cool track after another, my opinion turned a complete 360 degrees and by the end, I was left wishing they could have played more. Definitely one to remember for the future!

I have to say at this point that I was particularly impressed with the soundtrack in between bands, which was a great mix of classic tracks new and old and I also found the sound for the bands to be pretty good, too, so props to the venue for a job well done.

Finally, my old favourites Skid Row took to the stage. Now, some will say that Skid Row isn’t Skid Row without Sebastian Bach; ordinarily I would have agreed, but as vocalist Johnny Solinger pointed out, he’s now been the front man of SR for a whopping 15 years and if anything, this band is growing in popularity all over again with this, the United World Rebellion Tour – if that’s not longevity, then I don’t know what is.

Skid Row
Skid Row 1

What I do know is that the people here to see Skid Row tonight were all feeling the love in the room, as were the band – Dave “Snake” Sabo had a huge grin on his face for pretty much the whole set. As they smashed their way through all the favourites, such as “Big Guns”, “18 & Life”, “Kings of Demolition”, “Psychotherapy” and “Riot Act”, the crowd was with them, word for word. Slowing things down a bit, then came “In A Darkened Room”, before Johnny embarked on a diatribe about how music saved his life and pretty much holding up a middle finger to all the haters.

The chaos was back with “Makin’ A Mess” and there was a big sing-a-long to “I Remember You” before the room went nuclear for “Monkey Business”. A fake encore later – with the stage being too small for the whole band to leave, Johnny encouraged the room to pretend they were gone – and we were treated to “We Are The Damned” from the new album “Rise of the Damnation Army: United World Rebellion, Chapter 2”. A very metal cover of Queen’s “We Will Rock You”, followed by the anthemic “Slave To The Grind” delivered us to the final, inevitable bruising, climactic track of the night, “Youth Gone Wild”. Certainly the crowd went wild, singing every word of every line, fists in the air.

Pretty much everyone had smiles on their faces as they left the venue and overheard comments were all positive, so a big slap on the back to the venue and the promoters for a successful night. What did I think of it? Well … I thought Skid Row certainly gave the crowd their money’s worth and the two supporting acts were superb. Whilst I sang along like everyone else, a tiny part of me was wishing I was back in the 90’s and that Mr Bach was still present, but overall it was a memorable evening and it’s another band ticked off of my bucket list. Everyone’s a winner!


Words by Vikkie Richmond (blog | FaceBook | Twitter)
Sister pictures by Darrell Drury
Skid Row pictures courtesy of Helen Bradley Owers

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