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Official Site: www.dokken.net

Dokken
A Concert Review

December 29, 1996

The House of Blues

Chicago, IL

A Review by The Wimp &
The Dude on the Right
The Wimp's Review:
This was one of those concerts that makes you feel old, and Dokken did little but dwell on the past during their latest visit to Chicago at the House of Blues.

The night started with a mediocre performance by "Cutlass," a Chicago band whose imitative original material and hardly memorable covers of Filter's, "Hey Man Nice Shot" and Led Zeppelin's, "Immigrant Song" left me just shrugging. And that's my rating for this band - A SHRUG.

Now on to Dokken. Let me start off by saying that I am a Dokken fan from way back. I've liked them since "Tooth & Nail" and have followed them since. This is my fourth Dokken concert, second since they reunited, and I don't know if it was the House of Blues inferior sound quality, but this was not their best night. The band dwelled on all of their older material, which while being cool, made it seem like this was some dorky reunion tour a la Kiss, Sex Pistols, etc. They performed much better about a year ago, while touring in support of their last most excellent album, "Dysfunctional." I liked that CD, but maybe its limited commercial success has led the band to ignore their new stuff.

Starting with a lot of things from their first three albums, they played all of their girlie hits like "Alone Again," "Into the Fire," It's Not Love," and "In My Dreams." They played only one song from "Back for the Attack," George Lynch's solo, "Mr. Scary," and one from "Dysfunctional," "Too High to Fly." The band did treat their true fans to a preview of two songs from their new album due out in '97. This material shows that the band may stick with their new found maturity shown on "Dysfunctional."

Speaking of George Lynch, he is truly one of the great guitarists of our time, switching guitars at least six times during the show, with my favorite guitar being the tiger striped one. However, again due in part to the lousy sound at the House of Blues, he didn't seem to have a great night. And you know, seeing Dokken before, I'm tired of hearing Don's story about the two young lovelies with Mick Brown on the tour bus. Does that really happen before every show?

Well, the fans did seem to have a great time, and the place was packed for a late Sunday night holiday show. I will give the band some slack, since they are touring in support of a live, best-of like album, "One Live Night." They get, TWO THUMBS UP!!! and I look forward to their return, hopefully someplace with a better sound mix and with lots of new material and not as many of the girlie songs.

That's it, I'm The Wimp!

The Dude on the Right's turn:
Dokken. Now when The Wimp said he would cover them, I figured I would tag along, grab some photos, and it would be easy to walk around the House of Blues. I'm thinking it's a Sunday night, over the holidays, I haven't heard shit from Dokken in years, and the only reason I think I found out about the show was because I have to scour the concert calendars to keep my reviewers busy. No pre-publicity, nothing on the radio, and I'm thinking a small crowd. I was also picturing a crowd of black t-shirt wearin', chain smokin' cigarettes dudes, and tight-jeaned, big hair, biker lookin' dudettes. Boy was I wrong. The House of Blues was packed to the rafters this Sunday night, the fans have gotten hair cuts and some even wearing business-casual outfits, and the cigarette smoke, although there, wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Now, I didn't have photo clearance, so no photo's, but I guess this gave me a better chance to actually listen to Dokken, and these are some of my thoughts.

First off, The Wimp tells me "Dude, wait till you see George Lynch - he'll blow your mind!" I'm thinking, "Yea, yea, I've seen many a great guitarist, what will this 80's metal band guitarist show me." Well, The Wimp was right, Mr. Lynch is one great metal guitarist, although his solos got lost in a bad sound mix where the bass and drums were over-amplified and the vocals and guitar were lost in the crowd. That, I thought, was too bad, because Dokken, to me, was always one of those bands that relied on Don's voice, and George's guitar to lead the crowd through.

Now, I guess I don't have too much more to say, being at the show and not being a huge Dokken fan, but I will end with this. As I'm standing there I looked at my watch. It said 11:30. If it's a show that is boring me, my response is usually "it's only 11:30." Not this night, I'm thinking to myself, "It's already 11:30." Even though I had no idea what songs they were playing other than, well, as The Wimp calls them, the occasional girlie song, the night was flying by. That to me makes it a good rated show because if they can make me, the "not really a fan but just there doing my job" kind of guy, have a good time, Don Dokken and the boys are doing something right. But, more importantly, the fans that somehow found out about this show seemed to have a great time, and that's what matters, so I've got to give Dokken TWO THUMBS UP!! The two new songs sounded cool, I was surprised Don's voice held out as long as it did while he was puffing on cigarette after cigarette, and have a new-found appreciation for a band I had almost forgotten about.

That's it for this one from me, I'm The Dude on the Right! L8R!!!

 

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