Saturday, February 28, 2015

Kip Winger Solo Tonight

Everyone arrived here at the Medina Entertainment Center to signs stating that Winger will not be performing due to an ice storm in Dallas (from where the band was flying). Kip still made it and he'll be doing a solo acoustic show instead.

Tonight - WARRANT & WINGER in Medina, CAIN Vocalist JIGGS LEE in St. Paul

It's been hard to be inspired to write recently, so apologies all around for the lack of any new content or updates. Quite honestly there hasn't been a whole lot in the metal world that's gotten me excited. Part of it has been the lack of exciting live shows the last 2–3 months. It dawned on me not too long ago that I've been relentlessly attending concerts for 30 years now. I feel blessed that I have quite literally seen almost every metal and hard rock band that I want to see (many times, in the case of my favorites), and more often than not, in the bands' prime. It may be hard to understand, but during the long, cold Minnesota winter it takes something special to drag me out of the house away from my family.

Mock if you will, but seeing Winger tonight has gotten me fired up. They're playing a co-headlining show with Warrant at the Medina Entertainment Center in Medina. It's a 21+ show and Winger goes on first at 8:30 so don't be late! It may be hard to remember that before Winger became everyone's favorite band to mock, they were initially heralded as a technical musician's band when their debut album was released in 1988. Kip Winger and Paul Taylor had both spent time in Alice Cooper's band in the mid-80s, and as drummer for the Dixie Dregs Rod Morgenstein had racked up a string a Drummer of the Year honors. So I've never been shy about liking the band from the start, and three of the four original members still periodically put out great albums (2009's Karma is my favorite) and do small tour runs. I first saw the band opening for Cinderella with Bulletboys in 1989, again promoting In The Heart Of The Young with Kiss and Slaughter, and then headlining on the Pull tour. This 1993 show was especially memorable since I had won a radio contest and spent the Fourth of July at a barbecue picnic with the band the day of the show. Winger came through Station 4 in St. Paul a few years ago promoting the IV album in a fairly low-key show. Their last scheduled appearance in Medina for the Karma album together with Blackfoot was unfortunately canceled. Warrant is one band I've never seen, but I have seen current singer Robert Mason with Cry Of Love supporting Bad Company singer Paul Rodgers (with Journey guitarist Neal Schon in his band at the time). I've got some cool old Winger memorabilia I'll dig out for a "From The Vault" post, including an uncirculated audio recording from a tour for their first album.

Check out the video for "Rat Race" from the latest Winger album Better Days Comin'.

The only other show of note tonight is happening at the Amsterdam in St. Paul. Jiggs Lee, vocalist for local 70s cult hard rock band Cain, is playing as Jiggs Lee and Brothers Invasion with other local bands in a free benefit show for the American Cancer Society.

I'll get around to updating the concert calendar and getting some regular posts up. This looks to be a great year ahead for metal and hard rock!