Concert Review: Wrëking Crüe wsg Under Lokken Key

 

Empire Concert Club, January 20th, 2018

It was a night to travel back in time through music. Two bands were about to take the stage at the Empire Concert Club in Akron, Ohio. The first band, Under Lokken Key, a Dokken tribute band. The second band, a national touring Mötley Crüe tribute band Wrëking Crüe.

The Empire Concert Club is a medium-sized venue featuring a decent sized bar, limited seating, and a large floor in front of the stage and throughout most of the venue with standing room only.

It was a sold-out show, and the crowd was arriving early. With my wife accompanying me for the evening, we were lucky enough to arrive before things got really tight. We were able to position ourselves in front of the stage-right speakers. This was a good choice, as this was my first time covering this venue and this was the only access point to get right up front for photos.

As I chatted with the surrounding fans, most of them were very excited to see a Dokken tribute band. The reports I was getting about Wrëking Crüe fueled my excitement. The buzz was these guys kick some serious butt, and play a lot of older Crüe songs. Most people close to me in the crowd had seen Wrëking Crüe not too long ago and were back for more.

Under Lokken Key

As they made their way to the stage, it was tough for them to make it through the crowd that had amassed before the stage. Once on stage, Kevin, Douglass, and Greg were in position as the instrumental “Without Warning” started. As Kevin started into the heavier guitar parts, Derik was able to navigate the crowd and launch onto the stage just as “Tooth and Nail” cranked up. Like a kick to the face, they ripped through the opening song. Once the first song was finished, the crowd erupted into applause and cheers. The crowd loved it immediately!

With a solid backbone of Bass Guitar by Douglass Schroeder and Drums by Greg Campell, Lead Guitarist Kevin Standridge ripped through the leads and solos with no problem what-so-ever. Kevin was surely up to the task George Lynch had created. From song-to-song, Kevin’s guitar was absolutely on point as he shredded through hit after hit.

Not to be outdone, vocalist Derik Sibit had no issue flowing through the lyrics without strain, keeping the vocals well balanced and spot on. Derik had the inflections and upper register it took to complete the journey of celebrating the music of a classic band like Dokken.

Following “Tooth and Nail” the set blistered through seventeen more songs. All of the hits you would assume would be there, “In My Dreams”, “Alone Again, and “It’s Not Love”. Songs like “Mr. Scary” and “Lightning Strikes” got into the deeper cuts. Finishing up with “Dream Warriors” they definitely entertained the crowd and raised the bar for the headliners.

Under Lokken Key is as solid of a regional tribute band as I had ever had the pleasure of hearing. I highly suggest catching this band locally as soon as you can before they are out on a national tour. Yes, they are that good.

Under Lokken Key at The Empire Concert Club in Akron, Ohio. All Photos © Rockin' Al

Derik Sibit – Lead Vocals
Kevin Standridge – Lead Guitar, Vocals
Douglass Schroeder – Bass, Vocals
Greg Campbell – Drums

Under Lokken Key – Facebook

Wrëcking Crüe

As the crowd pressed against the stage, they were ready to hear some Mötley Crüe songs. Emerging from behind the set and striking things up with “Wild Side” the Wrëking Crüe hit the stage hard. The fog machine was working overtime, and before the end of the first song, it was time for me to quit taking photos.

The crowd was very enthusiastic as Vinnie, Nikki, Crash, and Toby tore through the songs like they wrote them. From “Dancing on Glass” to the earlier “Piece of Your Action” they kept the crowd moving around with horns in the air, swilling beers, and sweating, just like a concert should be. The female backup vocals by Precious and Sharon really added to the mix giving a larger sound to the band. Even Vinnie Roxx’s witty banter in between songs sounded a lot like Vince Neil’s spoken voice the last time I witnessed the Crüe.

After Vinnie said a few words in tribute to the late “Fast” Eddie Clarke, they broke into the classic Fastway song “Say What You Will”. It really made me realize how close this song is to some classic Mötley.

As they headed back to the Crüe songs, they had the crowd chanting along as they cranked out “Shout at the Devil”. Hands in the air, drinks in the air, and chants of “Shout! Shout! Shout!” filled the room. They continued their onslaught of music throughout the evening, hitting cuts from all of the decades. Classics and deep cuts alike with songs like “Girls, Girls, Girls” to “Just Another Psycho” really gave them a well-rounded set, as well as covering almost the entire Shout At The Devil album.

Vinnie Roxx’s vocals were great all evening, and at times you felt like you were actually listening to the Crüe. Behind Vinnie was Toby Lee, keeping the beat and hitting the skins hard. Toby even joked about the Empire being a little too small for the Rollercoaster Kit, as he busted into a massive drum solo which led up the song “Red Hot”.

Nikki Sikks thumped his bass through-out their set, keeping a solid bassline to keep the ladies shaking their hips and dancing. Crash Marz kept his Mick Mars impression on guitar super solid and fluid, just like the master hitting spot on solos and slides.

I can say I left the venue completely satisfied with the over twenty songs I heard. The Wrëking Crüe is definitely a force to be reckoned with as a Tribute Band. Their attention to the detail in the music, their appearance, and their presence, really gives you the feeling you are watching the real deal. Let’s face it, if you want to hear live Mötley Crüe, you aren’t seeing the originals together ever again.

My advice, do yourself a favor and check out Wrëking Crüe – The Mötley Crüe Experience because it is just that, an experience. Go celebrate some of the best music ever made with these guys and gals. Just remember to put the horns in the air and SHOUT!

The Wrëking Crüe at the Empire - 1-20-18. All Photos © Rockin' Al

Vinnie Roxx – Vocals
Nikki Sikks – Bass
Crash Marz – Guitar, Backup Vocals
Toby Lee – Drums, Backup Vocals, Piano
Precious – Backing Vocals
Sharon – Backing Vocals

Wrëking Crüe – The Mötley Crüe Experience – WebsiteFacebook

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Allen (Rockin' Al) Heimberger About Allen (Rockin' Al) Heimberger

Hey there! My name is Allen Heimberger hailing from Loudonville, Ohio (You know… Mohican Area). I have been employed as a graphic artist and designer for the past twenty-four years, and have worked with many National and Worldwide Fortune 500 companies creating mostly print design. I am involved in Design and Illustration on a regular basis.
From an early age music was a huge influence for me. As a kid, I just wanted to sit in front of the stereo listening to whatever record collection was in front of me. Queen, KISS, The Beatles were the earliest of influences. Playing my first DJ gig at the age of thirteen, in a biker bar owned by my father, started a hobby of DJ and Emcee work that is still here, thirty-four years later.
The love for Rock music, specifically Hard Rock, garnered me the nickname Rockin’ Al back in the mid-eighties. It took a while to accept, but I wouldn’t have it any other way today.
Music is on as much as possible in my life and I am excited to get out there and share some of my experiences with you! If you see me out and about, please make sure to say hello, there is always room for more cool people in my life!

Comments

  1. You could of not said it any better than that . This show was just outstanding to say the least . A journey through a great time so to speak . An incredible one I might add . We had a ton of fun & we would do it again & again till the cows bells come home !!!

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