There was no shortage of bands for the Hair Metal Holiday at The Bomb Factory on December 4 and no shortage of fans who loved each band. In addition to SLAUGHTER kicking everloving ass during their set, I also got to see, hear and rock out to DANGEROUS TOYS and GREAT WHITE.
Austin-based DANGEROUS TOYS only got a few songs, but they made the most of their time on stage. Even though they’ve been semi-disbanded for many years, the members still get together occasionally to play benefits and festivals. Drawing from their four albums (Dangerous Toys reached gold status in 1989), they started their set with “Outlaw.”
It was a great song to begin with, Jason McMaster moving around the stage like a rock star as he sang and played off the other members of the band. They rocked again on “Take Me Drunk” as the crowd held up their adult beverages and made a collective toast to those little three words every man wants to hear. The song had an AEROSMITH sound to it with a great solo by lead guitarist, Scott Dalhover. The DANGEROUS TOYS lovers in the crowd then came alive when the first few notes of “Sportin’ A Woody” played. They have quite a few humorous lyrics in their songs, but none more than in this one. Once again, the crowd toasted them.
With “Queen Of The Nile” they kept on feeding us rock. Mike Watson got a bass solo and was complemented by Paul Lydel on rhythm guitar and Scott with another great solo.
They moved into “Teas’n, Pleas’n” and kept the crowd thrilled. With its changes in style and tone, everyone loved it and hollered when Scott scooted around like Angus Young. The last song of their set was “Scared,” one of my favorites. Jason, also known as Pastor McMaster from the Church of Disaster, tore it up on vocals while the band kept pace. Solos and “Thank You’s” ended their time on stage.
DANGEROUS TOYS don’t play as a band much anymore, but it’s enjoyable every time they do. They’ve got the talent, the skills and the music to have been a major player, but never got that one break, just like so many other bands. I’m glad I got to see them this time and I’ll keep an eye out to see more of DANGEROUS TOYS in the future.
It’s always fun when you know you’re going to get to see band you’ve never seen before, like GREAT WHITE. I’ve heard some of their music on the radio and seen a few of their videos on MTV, back when MTV actually played music videos instead of reality series about Which Minor Celebrity Got Knocked Up By A Rapper This Week.
Lots of people tell me they love to see bands from the 80’s just to see if people actually wore Spandex instead of real clothes and if they still fit them. Others tell me they love the hair bands because, “A big part of the 80’s are pretty fuzzy to me.” in concert for the first time. So I was excited to see GREAT WHITE in concert for the first time. They came out to the theme from Jaws as the first three songs of “(I’ve Got) Something For You,” “Desert Moon,” and “Lady Red Light” were trying to find the energy of the crowd.
“Face The Day” turned into a sing-along as new vocalist, Terry Ilous, cut loose. Co-founder and guitarist Mark Kendall supplied a precise solo that embodied the whole song. Next, was “House Of Broken Love,” an English blues number that enthralled the audience. Kendall once again supplied a kick-ass solo.
An unexpected ballad, “Save Your Love,” followed and Terry absolutely nailed it. Then, they thrilled the crowd with a long Texas Blues intro to “Mista Bone,” which included a long blues jam by rhythm and bass guitarists, Michael Lardie and Scott Snyder, and drummer Audie Desbrow. They sounded like one complete unit at this point and continued for the rest of the night.
They were rocking now and Mark Kendall displayed a mathematical precision during the guitar solo on “Big Goodbye.” One of my favorites, “Can’t Shake It,” followed and contained great solos by Lardie and Kendall and a wonderful vocal by Ilous. He then said they gets lots of requests and added “The Angel Song,” which wasn’t on the setlist. I’m glad they added it as it was one of their best.
Another favorite, “Rock Me,” featured great harmonica by Michael Lardie that perfectly fit the voice of Terry Ilous. I was also in amazement as I watched a guy close to me pick up a previously unknown woman in three songs and spend the next two songs sucking face. Several of us clapped at his ability. Saying, “We’ll be back next year,” the band started their biggest hit, “Once Bitten Twice Shy” as the crowd sang every word and Ilous turned around and took selfies with the crowd.
If you’ve read about GREAT WHITE, then you’ve seen the history of the band puts the “fun” back in dysfunctional. There’s always turnover in every band, especially one that’s been together over 30 years and has two platinum and one gold among their twelve studio albums which have sold over ten million copies. I’m glad I finally got to see them as I really enjoyed hearing them play. And the 80’s are starting to come back to me.
LIVE WORDS: DAVID SIMERS
LIVE PHOTOS: GUZPIX