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skidrow by munichvampire26Backstage, Munich , Germany
14th November 2022
Skid Row - “The Gang’s All Here” Tour 2022 - Support: Raygun Rebels

There was a long que at Backstage’s Werk door when I arrived well before show time. The audience was a good mix of Rockers with long grey manes, Backstage regulars and kids that were not even born when SKID ROW conquered the world. I went straight to the merch to get a tour shirt and was quite shocked when I saw, that most of the merch I had seen on pictures form other shows was already sold out. Good for the band, bad for the photographer, who got the desired tour shirt but no beanie and no signed record.

Raygun Rebels

RAYGUN REBELS are a Hard Rock band from Bruckmühl, Bavaria that was founded in 2007. The band regularly tours and will celebrate their 15th anniversary with a show in Rosenheim on Nov. 26th 2022.

Music & Performance
“What a waste of talent!” I thought when RAYGUN REBELS left the stage. This band definitely deserves much more than being a support band. To open for legendary SKID ROW is a challenging job, especially if the venue is packed to the roof as soon as doors are open. The band did a very good job warming up the reluctant Munich crowd.

01. Some Balls
02. Sweet Angel
03. Lay Down Baby
04. Let Me Go
05. Memory Lane
06. Wasted
07. Bring Me Home

Music: 8.5
Performance: 9
Light: 7
Sound: 9
Total: 8.5 / 10

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Skid Row

In the late 80s and early 90s you couldn’t escape SKID ROW. The band’s music got plenty of radio play and their videos were available on MTV etc. The band was founded back in 1986 in New Jersey and faced several line-up changes as well as a break that lasted for three years. In March 2022, SKID ROW announced Erik Grönwall (Ex-HEAT) as their new front man. The band released their first studio album since 2006 on October 14th 2022 and ‘The Gang’s All Here’ was immediately highly acclaimed by the critics. The band embarked on a tour covering Europe and the UK this fall and will play live on stage in Australia in December.

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Music & Performance
Tension built up minute by minute after the crew had set up the stage for SKID ROW. The band definitely has a unique way to set up their amps and it’s s stylish one, for sure. Then lights got off, Rob took his seat behind the drums, a bit of fog clad the stage in a mysterious light and a few seconds later, all hell broke loose when SKID ROW opened the show with ‘Slave to the Grind’. It’s one thing to record an album with a band, but a totally different one to play a series of live shows live on stage if you are the newbie. From the very first second front man Erik Grönwall had a grip on the crowd and the band seemed so tight that I could hardly believe that they hadn’t performed with Erik as a front man for decades. The “warm-up” continued with ‘The Threat’ and ‘Big Guns’ and it was obvious, that the band enjoyed seeing the fully packed venue rocking out. After the third song I really had to hurry for the setlist had stated that my favourite song would be the first one after the photo time.

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We’re talking about ‘18 & Life’, SKID ROW’s all time classic. I have seen the band with various front men over the years, but Erik Grönwall absolutely killed it. He made the song his own and his performance added a wonderful raw power to it. For me, “The Bach question” is over, from now on. Watching the audiences reaction, I’m sure they felt the same. If SKID ROW ever need a dedicated audience for a live choir for a live recording of “18 & Life”, the Munich crowd will be down for it. Seeing all those smiles on people’s faces, must be a pretty impressing scene for the musicians on stage and it seemed we got extra intense guitar solos tonight. I asked myself if the show could get any better tonight, for so far they displayed a fireworks of songs and energy. A heavy bass intro and groovy guitars indicated that it was time for ‘Piece of Me’ and the audience was on chorus duty. Rachel Bolan on bass is definitely one of the coolest guys in Rock’n’Roll and hands down, the guitar solos were just adorable. After ‘Livin' on a Chain Gang’ it was time for a short break for Erik and Scotti, who left the stage.

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Rachel took over vocal duties, asking the audience “Are you ready?”. If you’re into SKID ROW, then you know that the band is always down for a RAMONES cover and tonight we got a very energetic version of ‘Psycho Therapy’ by Rachel, Dave and Rob. Munich has a knack for RAMONES and whenever there’s one of their songs in the air, the audience is ready to rock and so the applause was extra loud this time. Something that definitely changed since Erik joined the line-up, is the interaction between band and audience. Erik frequently addressed the audience, I can’t remember everything but I recall that he told us that the band doesn’t get old and that they only will get old if they stop playing. Dave also addressed the audience and was obviously thrilled that the audience was welcoming SKID ROW to Munich from the bottom of their hearts. He asked people to celebrate life tonight in a room that is free from religion and politics. Rachel told us, that they had been to Munich previously and recalled that it was during their tour with MÖTLEY CRÜE (who will play in Munich in 2023) 33 years ago and some people who were here tonight, were not even born when the band was founded, while pointing at Erik.

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‘In a Darkened Room’ proved that SKID ROW do not only know, how to make people rock but know how to perform a good and powerful ballade. ‘Makin’ a Mess’ brought back the high-speed guitars and while some were moshing a bit, others preferred to dance. During a short break, Erik told us about the band’s latest album and that they’d perform the title song ‘The Gang's All Here’. A really cool bass intro was followed by super hard guitars and while Erik performed the lead vocals, the band gave us super intense backing vocals and the audience knew the chorus by heart already. ‘Riot Act’ took us back to the early 90s and again, the moshers had the perfect soundtrack and Scotti obviously liked watching them. ‘Monkey Business’ is one of my favourite SKID ROW songs starting with the cool guitar and vocals part before the rhythm section kicks in. While roaming the stage, Erik, who had climbed down into the media pit earlier during the show, absolutely killed it. I never saw a better performance of this heavy and groovy track. SKID ROW left the stage under one of the loudest applauses Backstage Munich ever witnessed and people loudly demanded the encore.

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When the crew placed an acoustic guitar, cheering became even louder and SKID ROW came back on stage and played a wonderful version of ‘I Remember You’ and people’s smiles while singing along and illuminating the venue with the flashlights of their phones were beautiful to watch. Then SKID ROW decided it was time for ‘Time Bomb’ from their latest album, the intro is definitely one for the head-bangers and the bridge with the bass line leading over to Erik’s vocals that are only interrupted by a guitar riff are a sheer blast. Again, the Munich crowd proved, that they had learned their vocals and sang along. Definitely one of the best tracks, SKID ROW ever released. When the first tunes of ‘Youth Gone Wild’ became audible, I felt excited and still my heart felt heavy, for as long as I remember the band always closed the show with this amazing track. Suddenly the crew brought gigantic balloons into the game and “We’re the youth gone wild!” happened down in the pit while the whole venue performed the chorus.

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It seems that SKID ROW finally found their missing piece. “The Gang’s All Here”, that’s what happened in Munich tonight, no more words needed.

01. Slave to the Grind
02. The Threat
03. Big Guns
04. 18 and Life
05. Piece of Me
06. Livin’ on a Chain Gang
07. Psycho Therapy (Ramones cover)
08. In a Darkened Room
09. Makin’ a Mess
10. The Gang’s All Here
11. Riot Act
12. Monkey Business
13. I Remember You
14. Time Bomb
15. Youth Gone Wild

Music: 10
Performance: 10
Light: 10
Sound: 10
Total: 10 / 10

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All Pictures by Munich Vampire

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