DORO: Part I: On Tuesday March 3 I was convinced the Metal Gods were out to fuck me over once again. The word came down late the night before that Philly was getting a snow/ice storm from 3 p.m. till WHO-THE-FUCK-KNOWS-WHEN?!?! Exactly the time I would need to drive home from work and then make the 40-minute trek to Philly’s South Street to see my Queen, the one and only DORO at The Legendary Dobbs. What in the actual fuck??? And if it seems like my use of “FUCK” is excessive right now, just picture being in a car for 2.5 hours trying to get to the gig!! I missed a bunch of pre-show stuff, and my poor friend Scott was stuck waiting outside all that time because I had the goddamn tickets. Story of my life, I swear.
To make things even worse, one of the best new bands I’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing, MINDMAZE, was first on the bill at 7:15. I got there in time to hear one song…ONE!! “Never Look Back”, which is a hellacious closer; they are one fucking AMAHHHZING band, so check them out!! Sarah Teets is ridiculously awesome as a singer, and the band absolutely rips! And I also have to say, the staff at The Legendary Dobbs are all wonderful people, and were so accommodating not just to me, but Scott, and my photographer Kathleen. This is a place I will be back to a hundred times before I die. Gary, Nina, Jenna, and Juli who talked me off the ledge during traffic are just kickass! Plus Kat, DORO’S Merch Gal, was one of THE coolest fucking people on the planet. We laughed A LOT while she was setting up, and I picked up a t-shirt, hoodie, and beanie. She also figures into the story later…
Now it was time for the one…the only…THE METAL QUEEN, DORO!!! In a surprise move she opened with “Touch of Evil” from the 1987 landmark Triumph and Agony record, which damn near knocked me off my feet. DORO’S body of work with WARLOCK is second to none, so to hear one of these rare cuts live was an absolute treat. I lost Scott shortly after this as I bullied my way up to the front, because when it comes to all things DORO I am a total fangirl and squeal like one. Fear not though, because I soon saw his big paw behind me when she was shaking hands with all of us. “I Rule the Ruins”, “Burning the Witches”, and “Fight For Rock” were next and all three hit us like a ten ton hammer! The band was absolutely on fire and there was no turning back. The heat from this show could have melted the polar ice caps, believe me.
Rare gems like “Evil” and “Out of Control” rocked the balls off the place, which was a pleasant and unexpected surprise, and staples such as “Metal Tango”, “East Meets West”, along with new songs “Revenge” and “Raise Your Fist in the Air” tore the goddamn roof off! “We Are the Metalheads”, the Wacken anthem was another crowd-pleaser, and of course “All We Are” was THE show-stopper (After the SIXTH time DORO gave me the mic, I lost count, by the way). The awesome thing about a show like this is yeah the band has a setlist, but when it gets towards the end just throw it out the window. Because the fans will yell and scream for their favorites, and DORO will happily oblige if it’s not there, or in the order they were gonna play. Which is why we got to hear “Unholy Love” when we did. All in all, it was a fantastic, and magical night. Plus, I got to see Scott for the first time since moving back to Pennsylvania.
Now…let’s get into DORO: Part II, shall we? I flew back to Dallas, TX specifically for this show because A) DORO RULES HARD!! And B) it was at Trees Dallas, my FAVORITE CLUB IN ALL THE LAND!!! Now, on this night there was something in the air. Something I can’t describe. The band hadn’t been back to Dallas in a long time, so the atmosphere was electric. After interviewing Johnny Dee (drummer, Tour Manager), Nick Douglas (bass), Luca Princiotta (guitar), and Baas Maas (guitar) on the tour bus earlier, I was ready to rock (look for our video interview with these guys soon!). Ryan from Ardent Owl Media did a killer job not only there but on the live photos you see from this show. We got in during local act PUSHED’S set. I’m gonna say this now: I was kind of hard on them in an earlier review, but I am the first to admit when I am wrong.
This band seriously kicks ass, and singer Jo Beth is an absolute powerhouse, make no mistake about it! So if you see their name on a bill, I suggest you GOOOO!! Up next was LEGACY who were quite good, and their bassist was excellent. Direct support ARCHER put on equally blazing sets both here and back in Philly, so kudos to them.
Once again, it was time for DORO!! Thanks to my buddy Mark I got right up against the stage! Opening with “I Rule the Ruins” it was clear the band meant business from note one. Then it was time for Mini-Amps’ favorite “Earthshaker Rock”, a song DORO dedicated to him onstage in 2010. “Burning the Witches”, one of our favorite sing-alongs was next followed by “Fight For Rock”, “True As Steel” and the almighty “Metal Racer”.
How do you not have a coronary during those first six songs, I ask you?? “Raise Your Fist in the Air” was next, which definitely got us all fucking moving. There wasn’t a single soul in the building who didn’t know that one, trust me. After that it was time for more vintage classics like “Without You”, and then “East Meets West” which some of you may know as one of my GO-BATSHIT-FAVORITES!!”Evil” showed up again…wow twice in six days! That’s a song I’ve never heard her do live, so I was all about it.Two more Triumph and Agony Classics followed with the signature “Für Immer” then “Metal Tango” which never fails to get the metalheads going. “Out of Control” was an exercise in pure unadulterated metal which led into Johnny’s drum solo…fantastic as always! The guy has been pounding the skins for years and he still makes it look easy.
From there we were treated to the always crazy cover of JUDAS PRIEST’S “Breaking the Law”, then “All We Are” of course!! I screamed my bawls (L.I. mother voice) off during this one, and of course DORO noticed, and gave me the mic…again. After that, she asked what we wanted to hear. I immediately screamed “Love Me in Black” and she happily obliged. I may lose metal cred for this, but the song had tears streaming down my face, as it does every single time they play it live. My connection to this one is something that none of you will ever know, or understand, and I’m fine with that. We were beaten, battered, and bruised from an insane night of metal. But the band wasn’t done yet…
They launched into “Hellbound” and I thought I might explode! It was fast, loud, hard, and ready to kill. THAT’S what we want in our metal and the band served it up like filet mignon. After the goodnights I looked at my new front row buddy Jose who had never seen her. Dude is twice as big as me and he looked shell-shocked. Yeah, he got his ass handed to him; we all did, by DORO and her metal machine! All in all, this was an amazing experience. I got to see one of my best friends, Scott in Philly, then came to Dallas to see THE METAL QUEEN in my favorite place on Earth, Trees. Plus, my good buddies Ronnie and James also came to the Dallas show to shoot pics and hang. I’m the luckiest guy in the world to do what I do, and shows like this just remind me of that.
God bless Kat, who had an XL of the t-shirt from last October’s run, because my friend Joe picked me up a 3XL at the NY show (bonehead!), so she exchanged it for me. She is such a sweet, wonderful, and lovely person. Thank you very much to Clint Barlow, owner of Trees for helping me out, and to all my Dallas family I got to see at the show: I miss all you maniacs like crazy, and thank you so much for coming to support me in my DORO obsession!! This night was truly one for the ages, and the best I’ve ever seen DORO. Look for our first ever video interviews from this gig soon!
LIVE REVIEW: THE MAESTRO
LIVE PHOTOS: KATHLEEN KOCHER & ARDENT OWL MEDIA