Riot V Concert Review, Detroit, MI, July 9, 2016
And away I go to Detroit. That was a long drive on minimal sleep. I booked a hotel while I had stopped for breakfast at a truck stop. As soon as I arrived to my hotel in Romulus, MI right by the airport, I took a shower and a quick nap. I had a bunch of things I wanted to do and see that day but was just too wiped out to do them all. The only thing I did do was to see my old friend Nikki. We met in 1999 or 2000, went on a couple of dates and just ended up quickly becoming close friends. We recorded an album together in 2002(?) and had seen each other since about 2004. It was great to see her and her fiancee, laugh about old times and just be around her. She’s always been one of the most positive people I’ve ever known.
From there I went back to the hotel to catch a Lyft ride up to the Token Lounge in Westland, MI. I arrived right when the opener was starting. I hadn’t eaten since breakfast and was getting hungry. I noticed a pizza place on the end of the building and as I was leaving to go grab a slice or two, the door guy said, “No re-entry.” I didn’t notice the sign when I had walked in. He said to just phone in the order and they’ll walk it down. I was about to do just that then he said, “Fuck it, there’s no one here yet, just go.” Sweet. The pizza place was called “Krustyzz.” I ordered it to go and took it back to the bar. They had some hightop tables behind the soundboard in an area that was separated by glass. It was nice to sit and eat and not be blasted out. The pizza was greasy but delicious.
The opener was called SixE SixE (Sixe Sixe?). I don’t know. They were pretty awful. Not sure if they were a brand new band or what, but it wasn’t solid at all and the 2 songs I heard sounded like 90s style hard rock. Glad I missed most of their set. Terminus was up next. Unfortunately it wasn’t the Irish band of the same name. These guys were pure new metal and even covered Lamb of God. I almost threw up my pizza. Guitar players were good, though. Heard a few solos that were impressive. There came Acoustic Hell. It was everything you’d think it was with that name. Three acoustic guitars, a guy 50ish yrs old in flip flops and his hat on backwards and a female backup singer. They played stuff like Crazy Train, Screaming in the Night and some other stuff that I couldn’t care about. Luckily my pal Ryan showed up and I hung out with him and his friends on the back patio for the rest of their set. Wulfhook was up next. I neither loved nor hated them at Ragnarokkr and my reaction was the same at this show. I’m not sure what it is that doesn’t quite catch my ear. Singer has a powerful range, the rest of the band is solid and competent, but I’m just not into them. Then…THEN, they did an encore version of Powerslave. Maiden is my favorite band ever and I am picky about hearing cover versions of their music. They played it pretty well then I heard, “When the life givers die.” Not just once, but every time that section was played. WTF. No.
Riot time. Thankfully. They played the same set as the night before, flawlessly. Such a powerful band to watch. The crowd was considerably smaller, though. Maybe a 100 people or so when they took the stage and it cleared out little by little throughout their set. But I enjoyed it just as much.
After the show, the bar didn’t kick anyone out and we got to hang out. It was drummer, Frank Gilchrist’s birthday, so we did a shot of whisky together. I didn’t get to talk to him much at the Chicago show, but we caught up for quite a bit on Saturday. He’s a good dude for sure. I also got some one on one time with Mike Flyntz. I requested Maryanne to get added to the set and he said that it’s the most requested song that they get. I’d also like to hear more from the Mike Demeo era. He was super cool as always and thanked me for making the trip. As I was going over to talk with Donnie, he introduced me to his merch guy. I saw him in Chicago and thought he looked familiar but couldn’t place it. It was Giles Lavery who sang for Warlord for a little while. I was shocked to see him and it was great to finally meet him in person. What a great guy. We talked for a while and had a beer. He mentioned that his main band, Dragonsclaw, had a new album coming out. It was quite a great night. That venue is really cool, too. Medium sized, great staff, great sound. I’d like to visit the area again and hopefully that trip can coincide with a show here.
Sunday morning I just popped into a record store before heading to an airport. I got a Paul Stanley shirt which just has the ’77 solo album cover on it with no lettering. The store was certainly into ICP as their merch was everywhere and even a sign out front stating that they had tickets to the juggalo gathering. Ha.
Twas a great weekend overall getting to see a band that I love in 2 other cities.