@ Peabody's Cleveland Oh 10/7/11
By: Michael Rys
Photo's: Michael Rys
Michael Monroe's music with Hanoi Rocks,Demolition 23, and his solo records over the years share something in common ,at least for me with very few other bands.His music holds a place in my influences, and taste that is timeless.Hanoi's classic record Back To The Mystery City hold just as much excitement and rock roll power in now as it did when I picked out of a record bin back in 1984.Michael's 1999 solo record Life gets You Dirty was so powerful to me it actually helped me keep perspective during a really emotionally difficult time in my life.My point is the mans music means allot to me and yet I have not had the realistic opportunity to see him perform live until this last Friday night in Cleveland.
Touring the US in support of a new record titled Sensory Overdrive Michael Monroe finally has a US record deal again,visa issues did not get in the way,health issues not a factor that I know of,and the man was finally here.The band he's got with him is no mere back up band either. Most of the guys touring are the ones form the record,Steve Conte ( New York Dolls)on guitar, Karl Rockfist on drums, long time pal and Hanoi band mate Sami Yaffa on bass, and filling the shoes of the departed Ginger from The Wildhearts is Dregan of The Hellacopters.I expected big things from this band in the weeks leading up to the show and thankfully was not disappointed at all.
Michael and the boys jumped on the gas from the very first note of the newest single Trick of The Wrist,with Mr Monroe jamming the sax before the first songs end. They steamrolled through so many great songs mixing tunes from Sensory Overdrive like 78 and Superpowered Superfly, Got Blood and Modern Day Miracle,with some vintage Demolition 23 ,a little older solo record material like Not Fakin It and later on Dead Jail or Rock n Roll and even some Hanoi tunes as a tribute to Razzle,Motorvatin,Back To the Mystery City and one of my all time favorites Malibu Beach Nightmare.Playing in Cleveland was not lost on Michael Monroe either,he had recorded with Stiv Bator and is a huge fan of the Dead Boys so they cranked out their version of Ain't Nothin To Do,Taxi Driver hitting overdrive with a version of I Feel
Alright,which had the band all in prime mover grooves with Michael climbing the speaker stacks to jam the harmonica,trading riff with Dregan and Conte. I put this show instantly in my top 5 ever and that's saying allot.Dregan is whirling monster onstage, Conte may be Mr Smooth in style but the guitar licks are nasty good like a porn stars &^%, Sami Yaffa's alway looking like he having the time of his life laughing,smiling and rocking with his mate Karl, who I couldn't see to well back behind the drum kit but is solid as a granite wall back there, and the man himself Michael Monore in my mind anyway lived up to my expectations completely. He's got the energy of someone half his age,could teach classes on how to entertain and engage the audience and seemingly is putting on legend status shows when you're ever he goes right now. This rave review is not the only one you'll read if search for his tour reviews. When you get the chance to see Michael Monroe at all take it. Take anyone who'll go too you be showing them what rock n roll sans the sub genre nitpicking is all about.Happy as hell I got witness history and really hope he builds momentum here in the states. He deserves the attention here that he has in Europe and Asia.Most rock musicians know who he is,its time way more many folks in the states find out too. Here to hoping it does not take another 20 years for me to see Michael Monroe in concert again. Look for a full review of Michael Monroe's Sensory Overdrive very soon.