Rock: a genre of music that originated and evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s, primarily bla, bla, bla….
Let’s try that again.
Rock: in your face music that takes over your mind, body and soul, makes you feel more alive than anything and purposely defies all rules – at least it should.
The latter definition perfectly describes last night’s show at the Clearfield County Fair. Rock, in all of it’s glory; kicked open the fair gates, grabbed everyone by the throat and screamed in their faces – reminding everyone that it is, in fact, not dead nor will it be killed by any lingering sugar coated, over produced, mechanical major label puppets that may be consumed with the ever growing disc spinning frenzy.
No, no. Rock is quite alive and what could be a better reminder of that than a sea of people religiously chanting, shouting and convulsing to/along with that very entity.
The night was kicked off by Curbside Hustle (which featured Eddie Ojeda’s daughter), who surprised pretty much everyone by starting the show just a bit earlier than anticipated (myself included). A pleasant surprise it was. My only regret is not being present for their entire set to give them a proper review. Nonetheless, they played a great set and certainly grabbed everyone’s attention.
Next up on the warm-up path was Jac & Jill. I must say that I initially didn’t have a clue what to expect. They played the enigma card briefly by slyly not having the entire band present for their start and giving no hints to their nature. A few songs in, it became a lot clearer – they proved to be the different ones of the night by being more of a modern take on the rock world while still retaining a bit of throwback feel in places. Their arrangements combined with strong female vocals and the layering of keys (amongst various other layers) within, made an impression with the audience and certainly helped to build the anticipation for what was to come.
Just as they exited the ever swinging saloon doors, Great White was sure to enter – enter in a purposeful manner to remind all of why they have a history and just why you like that history. Aside from yester-year’s hits that all were frothing to hear/see, Great White showcased pieces of a new catalog they are building. Songs that, if not stated were new, would’ve fit into any time frame of the band (just my personal opinion). They took the stage with authority and played a energized and powerful set that ranked high with the masses. I do have to say that it would’ve been nice to have seen Jack Russell up there…
Then, after a brief intermission and backdrop curtain/banner change, came Twisted Sister. Wow.
Ever a powerful and menacing force to be reckoned with, Twisted Sister took the stage with a fury not often seen with bands – whether new or old. Their performance was the epitome of what a rock show should be – absolutely rip-your-head-off/in-your-face entertainment. Tight, strong, clean (not too clean, that’s no fun…) and a well oiled machine; they put all other bands before them to shame – and I didn’t expect anything less. They ripped through a burning set chock full of well-knowns and some surprises as well; all the while, commanding the stage (almost punishing it) as the crowd happily ate from their hands.
Despite some technical sound issues (which were ironed out over the course of the show) everything was just as it should be and everyone went absolutely nuts. That’s what I call a good show – people giving in and losing their minds to the empowering force(s) in front of them.
What else can I say? It was definitely one of the best performances that I’ve seen in a long time. I’m thoroughly impressed and proud to say that I was there.
What makes it even better? I got the chance to briefly meet Twisted Sister at a short backstage meet-and-greet.
So Clearfield County, I hope you had fun reattaching your faces and have peace of mind knowing that Rock ‘n’ Roll will never die. I know it certainly helps me sleep better and, yes, I may need help with this needle and thread…
(all photos courtesy of Mark Kolash. For more photos of all of the bands/the entire show, visit gallery.kolash.com – pics will be uploaded soon.)