Cinderella Review: HOB Dallas

On July 4, 2011, in Concert Reviews, by admin

Cinderella Spot On at House of Blues Dallas

Back to reviewing the music that got us here in the first place. Cinderella, a ‘hair band’ from the late eighties played House of Blues in Dallas on 3 July 2011. This was the first time I had seen them since they started touring again years back in a smaller venue, so tonight was a must to see.

 

I consider Cinderella a great story because of the challenges of front man Tom Kiefer. He is the musical scribe of all of the bevy of hits from the 80’s that Cinderella plays in its shows today.  One after another. But the story for Kiefer has been challenging. He has a signature vocal sound combining great range with a growling approach. Unfortunately for him, this approach has led to many vocal cord issues leading to multiple surgeries to remove nodules from the vocal cords. He also has a paralyzed left vocal cord.  Even with many surgeries when Cinderella was in its hey day, he continued to press on.  His latest surgery came in 2008, when his left vocal cord hemorrhaged again. After over a year off, he is back. His voice is strong, although he will not go to the real high notes on many songs (and there are many in Cinderella songs). If you know the above story, you do not mind.  I would rather have them around for years to come touring, as this band truly gets it right.

The night opened with John Corabi, of Ratt fame, doing an acoustical set. While Corabi has great control of an acoustic guitar and an endearing personality, but an acoustical set is not recommended to open a act like Cinderella.  At one point Corabi asked if he was boring us…..my answer would have been a resounding yes.

Cinderella came on for the 1:15 set. They wasted no time to get to their catalog of hits.  Kiefer spoke rarely, only to give the obligatory shout out to Dallas and Texas….something that is taught in ‘how to be a rock star’ school. But his lack of chatting translated into a driving set from the band that remains amazingly tight musically. Kiefer is  a presence on stage. Not a wild man, he lets the music speak. He is also an accomplished guitarist and keyboards player. While all of the driving rock hits such as “Shake Me, Gypsy Rose, I’m Coming Home” and the like, it was actually a lesser hit that I felt was done to perfection. “The Last Train” was done masterfully by the group, with an impressive audience sing along where I could distinctly hear spot on harmonies from the audience. They took the more mellow song and built into the thunder of the song…..the difference with Cinderella is that you get the feel they are actually performing the song with emotion, that it really means something to them rather than just playing for the sake of playing.  This is further witnessed by the musical interludes in a few of the songs.  Rather than go into individual solos, which I hate in any concert, they do musical jams between Kiefer, the other guitarist and bassist. The group’s music is based upon blues rock, and when they go into a jam, it is usually blues based progressions and leads. They do not let them last too long so as not to loose the mostly A.D.D. audience.  You can tell they are into the music, and this makes all the difference in the show. Too many bands play for the egotistical entertainment value and relay on stage props to entertain.

Kiefer clearly was pacing himself throughout the show.  With the voice issues he will continue to have, this only makes sense through a grueling tour schedule. But as the show drew to a close, he invested more and more into the performance.  While they concluded the encore with “Shelter Me”, not one of their stronger songs, clearly Kiefer had built up his performance, leaving the stage in a robust fatigue from giving at the show.  I truly appreciated the gut and performance.

The crowd of 1500 or so 20-40 somethings were truly appreciative.  While not an overly off the hook party crowd, they were very enthusiastic. The place was nearly packed, showing that there is certainly no lack of popularity of this act from Pennsylvania originally discovered by Bon Jovi. Between parking, concessions, and ticket entries, I estimate the revenue for this show to be $84,000. I also estimate that we will continue to see Cinderella touring again, as long as Kiefer’s voice holds out.

This is the best concert (and believe me I go to a lot) that I have seen in years.  Perhaps it was propped up by the fact that it was at the House of Blues.  I have seen Cinderella 6 times now, and in all previous times, they were part of a multi-bill show in an outdoor or larger arena where they could niether play their complete catalog or translate their strong sound into a club atmosphere.  Here is your chance to go see them. Most of their remaining tour dates are in clubs, with the exception of a few outdoor multi-day festivals that I wish I were going to.  Check out the band website below for more details

CINDERELLA

On a scale of 10, I give this concert  solid 9……….go see them if you can.

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