Wish You Were Here & Victory Highway – Shine Powerfully @ River Rock at The AMP!

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River Rock at The AMP, Warren, Ohio.

  All photos: © 2015 Joe Kleon/G4orce Studios.

*Watch for our featured photo gallery of this show on our homepage this weekend.

c0d42b959636fe8e1f8d9929e09cc727_400x400I took the stroll up to Warren, Ohio to review Wish You Were Here and Victory Highway at River Rock on The Amp. This was my first time to hear the highly acclaimed Pink Floyd tribute band and visit the beautiful Amphitheatre. The bands were fantastic, the venue was clean; featuring excellent food, beverages and service. The management, staff and policemen were all friendly from the moment I entered the facility. I was totally impressed with this classy venue!

I was shocked to hear “Momentum” by prog-rocker, Neal Morse being played on the PA system during the intermission between Victory Highway and Wish You Were Here. The “little known uplifting song” and video was featured in The Rust Belt Chronicles last year . I don’t know who picked the song whether it was the soundman of WYWH or the venue itself; but someone has some great ear for music!

I found myself so inspired during evening, I took five pages of notes. There is now way I can keep this review under 1,000 words. It’s impossible, both bands were so good and WYWH inspired me, so grab a cup of coffee (or two) and read on!

Wish You Were Here

 

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All photos: © 2015 Joe Kleon/G4orce Studios.

This year is the “Twentieth Anniversary Tour” for Wish You Were Here and the set list predominantly featured the album “Wish You Were Here” along with other Pink Floyd hits and obscure material from their storied catalogue of music. If you get the opportunity to attend a Wish You Were Here performance, run to it: you’ll will be glad you did!

From the opening sequence of music prior to Wish You Were Here taking the stage, we sensed something very special was about to take place. Once the band hit the opening chords of “Shine On Crazy Diamond” we couldn’t tell the difference between Pink Floyd and WYWH. That’s how spectacular WYWH perform in concert. I found myself asking myself, “Oh By The Way, Which One’s Pink?”

30Shine On” was an exercise of beautiful moving flowing music as Jon Darling’s cymbals sparkled from the lighting, the guitar solo was impeccable and the  lead vocals were spot on. Backup singers, Marla Brennan and Sharron McPherson Foxx, swayed their bodies to the music and during the chorus those two young ladies belted their lungs out with harmony! Bob Barno’s saxophone echoed the band prior to the tempo change rang throughout the city of Warren!

11Next up was Eroc Sosinski, driving the band with “Welcome To The Machine“. The acoustic guitars combined with the electric guitars, sax and special effects were marvelous. Jim Teague added additional guitar to the song. The keyboards, featuring Bob Gerhard, were oozing with that familiar layered sound as if Floyd keyboardist, Richard Wright, had come back to life!

The choppy, but slightly funky guitar chords of “Have A Cigar” ensued as the crowd delighted with approval. We had been dealing with what appeared to be a severe thunderstorm during the previous song with a brief shower, but the sound of this tune by WYWH provided enough gust to part the clouds!

Wish You Were Here” had the packed house singing-a-long with the band during the chorus. This soothing rendition touched the heart of everyone and the keyboards near the end of the song were moving as well.

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All photos: © 2015 Joe Kleon/G4orce Studios.

Shine On 6-9” began with a steady tempo flowing throughout the Amphitheatre. Marc Brennan gave us an astonishing performance on the pedal steel guitar solo. The sound was HUGE, when the full band returned to the fray. The subsequent guitar and keyboard passage left us in awe as the rest of the band took a momentary lapse in silence.

Next, Wish You Were Here launched into “See Emily Play.” The song originally recorded by Pink Floyd in 1967 from the album, “The Piper At The Gates of Dawn.” The song was received well by the Floyd lovers at the venue with it’s poppy 60’s sound!

The pedal steel guitar echoed with sentiment as WYWH began “Breathe“, from the album, “Dark Side of The Moon”. Beautiful vocals resounded throughout the song as the band played on creating a vigor of hope with a majestic sound of  grandeur!

Wish You Were Here’s resemblance to the sights and sound of Pink Floyd is literally off the charts. Wish You Were Here, clearly – is the greatest Pink Floyd tribute band in the Universe! – The Rust Belt Chronicles

 

21The crowd roared with approval as we were treated to the bells, alarms and keyboards and the gusto of the precise electronic roto-toms during the intro of “Time.” The use of the oval screen behind the band conjured the movies, images and thought processes conjured at a Pink Floyd concert. The stage props and lighting were magnificent. Wish You Were Here’s resemblance to the sights and sound of Pink Floyd is literally off the charts. Wish You Were Here, clearly – is the greatest Pink Floyd tribute band in the Universe! The tightness of WYWH is unbelievable. Mark Brennan shined with the guitar solo. Jamie Combs lead vocals were so true to the original Floyd recording and the backup vocal were superb.

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All photos: © 2015 Joe Kleon/G4orce Studios.

During Great Gig In The Sky” the two backup vocalists, Marla and Sharron brought the house down with their staggering vamp of creating “the sound of a thousand vocalists” with their powerful lungs creating a spine tingling vibrato. Such a magnificent performance by those ladies with their vocal abilities seemingly stretching their octaves upwards toward the Heavens!

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All photos: © 2015 Joe Kleon/G4orce Studios.

The stage lights flooded the night with flair as WYWH launched into “Run Like Hell.” Jon Darling kept a steady tempo and the vocals were shared between Eroc and Jamie. As the chant began onstage, a giant pig was unveiled and released towering above the band on stage. The choppy guitar sound, bass and drums climaxed at the end of the song, signaling the intermission.

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All photos: © 2015 Joe Kleon/G4orce Studios.

Wish You Were Here returned to the stage to perform “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun“, from the 1968 album, “A Saucerful of Secrets”. During this eerie, trippy, instrumental Eroc took center stage with a Zildjian Gong. He proceeded to wail away on the percussive instrument to his and the crowds content!

The multi-talented musician returned to the bass guitar reverberating the lines of “One Of These Days.” The use of the strobe lights accentuated the sultry mood created and Mark was fantastic on his use of the pedal steel guitar.

37Bob Gerhard’s keyboards introduced the tune, “Sheep” album entitled: “Animals“. The romping rhythm had the crowd dancing, as once again; the band nailed the song to the bone.

As the crowd favorite “Money” began, the excitement of the fans  reached bedlam proportions. The oval screen above and behind the drummer, displayed the sins and luxuries of having currency. Eroc was perfect with the lead vocals while the saxophone blared with gusto. Both guitarists displayed a swagger of dual solos at the same time creating a fresh melodic vibe. Eroc performed a sweet bass solo during the bluesy guitar sound and then the full band returned to the fray, belting out a strength of accents and sound that may have as powerful and big as I’ve heard from any band in my life! 

The guitar intro by Jamie Combs signaled the beginning of “Coming Back To Life” originally written by David Gilmour’s wife. His stellar guitar licks and WYWH’s beautiful ambience of sound left the crowd satisfied and happy.

Dry Ice enveloped the stage, along with beautiful soft lighting, as the band next launched into “Fearless” with Eroc’s vocals sounding just like David Gilmour. A provocative and timeless rendition was felt by all.

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All photos: © 2015 Joe Kleon/G4orce Studios.

Next, the dark mood was set with the tone of the band and Jon Darling spinning his drumsticks as WYWH took off with “Another Brick In The Wall, Part 2” from “The Wall” album. The crowd loudly chanted the chorus with the band.

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All photos: © 2015 Joe Kleon/G4orce Studios.

Once”Us and Them” began, Mark Brennan performed with passion throughout the song. The saxophone was stunning as were the special effects and lighting. Throughout this song the dynamics ranged from strong to simply an overpowering crescendo effect rarely shown by any band I’ve heard live!

18Eroc quieted the band down a bit to perform a nice funky bass solo filled with a rich amount of swagger. His use of the picking and bass synth sounds created during his solo were awesome, once the the band joined in a reggae groove was jammin’ so hard, it would’ve made Carlos Sanatana cry. The medley continued with “Any Colour” and “Brain Damage.” The power oozed once again, during the lyrics, “I’ll See You On The Dark Side of The Moon” as the band and backup vocalists brought  the house down with a majestic sound seldom heard on this planet!19

As Wish You Were Here departed the stage the “encore chants” had already begun.

The band returned to the stage and Eroc proudly introduced each of the members of Wish You Were Here to the frenzied audience. Next, the band began the fan favorite, “Comfortably Numb“. Mark and Jamie performed brilliantly on the guitars between solos and licks. As the song ended the crowd wanted more of this spectacular band  with good reason-Wish You Were Here left us “Comfortably Numb” in awe of their sound, musicianship, lighting and special effects!

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All photos: © 2015 Joe Kleon/G4orce Studios.

Victory Highway

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All photos: © 2015 Joe Kleon/G4orce Studios.

Opening the evening of festivities were the veteran Cleveland musicians known as Victory Highway.  The Rust Belt Chronicles had the opportunity to witness several of their performances and spotlight this band over the past year or so. If you get the opportunity catch Victory Highway, please do. They are one of the best bands from the Cleveland area and deliver a impeccable mixture of rock, funk and country music to their performances!

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All photos: © 2015 Joe Kleon/G4orce Studios.

The band launched into Journey’s, “Stone In Love” with a fever of excitement and had the crowd jumpin’ with approval. I am always in awe of how this band performs this song with only one guitarist but manages to pull it of superbly! After lead vocalist Lisa Caito spoke to the crowd, Victory Highway continued their romp with “The Warrior“, originally recorded by the band, Scandel.

vh6(Here’s an interesting fact– when drummer, Jimmy Clark sometimes sits in for Victory Highway’s regular drummer, Justin Fiutem, Jimmy actually toured with Patti Smythe, the vocalist of Scandal.)

vh5Victory Highway took us further down the road with “Vehicle” followed by “You and I” showing their musical versatility in styles. But the version of “Brick House” by The Commodores delivered a residual funk inside the venue as sweltering as the humidity! The bravado of bassist, Mike Solarz shined throughout the song as the band performed with a stunning sound of funkadelic!

The funkiness continued with “Uptown Funk” by Marc Ronson as the audience boogied with the band. Another Journey tune ensued with the keyboard intro by Bruce Kawalski, introducing “Wheel In The Sky.” This delightful song was felt throughout the venue and displayed a powerful feeling of hope, despite the dark clouds overhead. Keyboardist, Bruce Kawalski showed his musical prowess on the ivories during the song “Chicago“.

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All photos: © 2015 Joe Kleon/G4orce Studios.

Lead vocalist, Lisa Caito shined with her unique vocal abilities and proved why she is the best female vocalist in Northeast, Ohio on “Black Velvet.” It’s really hard to tell the difference between Lisa and Alannah Miles, who originally recorded and sang the song. Lisa is that good!

vh1Next, it was time to rock as Victory Highway bolted through Foreigner’s, “Hot Blooded“and AC/DC’s, “Shook Me.” Not content with that guitarist, Cy Sulak, brought the house down with his stunning guitar skills during Jeff Beck’s “Free Way Jam“. Incredible!

After a short intermission, Victory Highway opened with a beautiful version of Fleetwood Mac’s “Rhiannon“. Once again, Lisa Caito stunned the crowd with her heartfelt vocal rendition, nearly moving some of the ladies to tears. The tempo beefed up as Victory Highway kicked into “Barracuda” by Heart. Pat Benatar’s, “Hell Is For Children” was up next as the band darted through this little rocker.

LaGrange” by ZZ Top set the venue on fire with Cy and the band delivering the down and dirty phrasing of that “little ole band from Tejas.” Then Lisa and the band shot into “T.N.T.” by AC/DC proving it’s a hard road to rock with Victory Highway.

The band concluded their well-received performance with Led Zeppelin’s, “Stairway To Heaven!”

Victory Highway is a clean, tight and enjoyable musical adventure. Don’t miss this band at a venue near you!

*The Rust Belt Chronicles would like to thank Robert Valore, Joe Kleon, Eroc Sosinski, Bob Barno, the management team of River Rock at the AMP, Lisa Caito and the friendly staff of the venue!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer/Disclosure

Products, advertisements and links on this website contain affiliate marketing agreements based on commision or sales between The Rust Belt Chronicles and third party companies or businesses. We only recommend products, brands and businesses that we strongly support. Photos used on this site are used courtesy of the original authors and in no way endorse The Rust Belt Chronicles or our opinions. Thank you.
Jim Carver About Jim Carver

Jim Carver is the President of The Rust Belt Chronicles.

In 2004, Jim graduated from North Central State College with a degree in Business Information Technology. Jim developed "Rock Lines" news report online in 2010.After a trial-run of The Rust Belt Chronicles in April of 2013, Jim decided to make his dream a reality in 2014 by re-launching The Rust Belt Chronicles.

Comments

  1. Nice to know someone noticed the intermission music! That’s my job 🙂
    Thank you for the wonderful review!
    -JC

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