by Ross CAT

By Ross Cat.

    QUEEN OF HEARTS…..The Event Center located inside the Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel is quickly becoming one of the premier music venues in the region. The action reached a fevered pitch last Saturday night as they played host to the first ladies of rock, HEART.
    The WILSON Sisters have been kindred butterflies in the dog eat dog world of Rock and Roll since the 1970’s, showing that it doesn’t take a set of balls to play kick ass music. Ann and Nancy are on the road in support of their latest release “Love Songs”, which is a collection of tunes that offer up a “Lighter Touch” of the bands mammoth catalog of hits. This disc isn’t just another hits compilation it contains live versions of chart topping tunes the likes of “Alone” and “Magic Man” to name just a few.
    The evening commenced as the full house arose with anticipation welcoming the lovely lasses.  Accompanied by a four piece band they opened the set with a rollicking rendition of LED ZEPPELIN’S “Rock and Roll”. That would prove to be prelude to an evening filled with LED ZEP classics that would have brought a smile to the “Golden God” himself. Vocalist ANN WILSON sent the songs soaring throughout the state of the art concert theater, as her ravenous voice shows no signs of attrition. After lowering the boom on “Black Dog” and “Misty Mountain Hop” sultry guitarist NANCY WILSON showed she can rock like a lady soulfully strumming the “Battle of Evermore”. Though some hardcore fans may have felt the set list was a bit “Heartless”, the band managed to “Even it Up” with a string of favorites late in the set.  Consummate rockers “Barracuda” and “Crazy On You” had the crowd flocking the front of the stage, which by the way was unimpeded by staff and security. Imagine that a place where your allowed to smoke, drink and have a good time in New York State.
    The SENECA EVENTS CENTER continues to roll in the top notch talent as they will welcome THE MOODY BLUES on Saturday April 1st for an 8pm show. The following weekend (April 7th, 8th), will find homegrown favorites the 10,000 MANIACS sharing an intimate weekend at the BEARS DEN SHOWROOM. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster or visit for more info.
    THERE’S ONLY ONE WAY TO ROCK…..The summer of 2006 looks to be a sizzling one for SAMMY HAGAR. The fun begins with the 1st annual CABO WABO Cruise sponsored by Rosetours ( out of Philadelphia. The sold out ship will sail into the “Summer Nights” on April 23rd from California, cruising its way to the sandy beaches of “Cabo Wabo”. The week long bash will climax with a Rock and Roll party at HAGAR’S aforementioned world famous club, celebrating the release of his new disc appropriately titled “Livin it Up”. NIGHTLIFE Magazine will have the unbelievable honor of being aboard to give you a blow by blow account on what it’s like to party with SAMMY and the Redheads for a week.
    Whether fronting his own band, kicking ass at the helm of VAN HALEN, or shaking things up with the Waboritas the Red Rocker has always checked his ego at the cooler door.   SAMMY is synonymous with a good time, knowing full well it’s about the music and not the man. HAGAR stands alone on “Top of the World” when it comes to celebrating his music with fans, even going as far as sharing a section of seats on stage with his faithful followers.
    The “Livin it Up” tour will give rockers “The Best of Both Worlds”. The tour will not only feature HAGAR and the Waborita’s, they will also be joined by VAN HALEN bassist MICHAEL ANTHONY. While some former bandmates seem to take father time and their talent for granted HAGAR and ANTHONY just want to give Van Halen devotees their music, not the “Runaround”. The show will include a set called “The Other Half” which will comprise a collection of Van Halen classics. Bassist ANTHONY explains; “This stems from the fact that the VH Brothers, namely EDDIE, don’t want to go out and play Van Halen right now, or it seems anytime soon. SAMMY and I realize that the fan interest is there and we want to share the songs live.”
    The “Livin it Up” tour will erupt in Buffalo on Friday July 7th at the Darien Lake PAC.  For ticket information check out The first single off the new disc should be on the airwaves this week called “Sam I Am”.  Look for an interview with SAMMY HAGAR in the April Rock Report.
    LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL…..As previously reported the long rumored reunion of the NEW CARS will be hitting the highway this summer. The 2006 InCARnation of the influential new wave band will include original members ELLIOT EASTON (guitars), and GREG HAWKES (keyboards). The keys to the NEW CARS have been handed over to none other then the enigmatic TODD RUNDGREN, who will be handling the vocal duties. The multi-talented artist has made immeasurable contributions as a musical architect for over 30 years. His chameleon like abilities will allow him to shift the NEW CARS into high gear.  Rounding out the lineup will be former UTOPHIA member acclaimed bassist KASIM SULTON, and drummer PRAIRIE PRINCE (TUBES) providing the heartbeat.
    Although “You Might Think” that this is just another nostalgia tour, the band has added some modern accessories for the road. They have recorded several of the CARS many hits for a new disc entitled “It’s Alive” due out May 9th. In addition to sixteen live songs the album will also include three new studio tracks “Not Tonite”, “Warm”, and “More”, co-written by the CARS original members along with RUNDGREN. You can check out the very cool new website for track listing and tour dates @
    Joining the CARavan will be 2006 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees BLONDIE who also have a new album of Greatest Hits in stores called “Sound and Vision”. No Buffalo date as of yet but “The Good Times Roll” into Toronto at the Molson Amphitheater on June 21st. In the meantime NIGHTLIFE will be chasing down an interview.
    COMFORTABLY NUMB…..One of the most anticipated albums of 2006 is on the shelves, “On an Island” from DAVID GILMOUR. While many PINK FLOYD fans continue to hope for a reunion this collection of songs should most certainly appease even the most dedicated FLOYD fanatic. “On an Island” finds the guitarist/vocalist navigating across a gamut of sounds, surrounded by mystifying melodies that flow into the absorbing lyrics.“
    Contrary to the album title GILMOUR finds himself amidst some legendary talent for his latest endeavor. Joining him on the record and on the road will be PINK FLOYD keyboardist RICHARD WRIGHT. The title track offers up a GILMOUR solo that “Echoes” of classic FLOYD, only to be sweetened by the heavenly harmonies of DAVID CROSBY and GRAHAM NASH. Track three “The Blue” sees legendary pianist JOOLS HOLLAND kicking in on the keys. “This is my best and most personal work” explains GILMOUR; “Making the record with my musician friends has been a positive experience on so many levels.”
    While the album covers a vast array of musical styles GILMOUR doesn’t drift far from the heavy blues influences that he and FLOYD followed. “Take a Breath” and “This Heaven”; are two tremendous tracks that would fit nicely on any FLOYD record.
    GILMOUR is on the road in support of the new album and will be making a stop in Toronto at Massey Hall on April 9th and 10th. The entire tour is sold out so NIGHTLIFE will bring you a review of the April 9th Toronto show. The disc is climbing the charts all over the world in its first two weeks of release reaching #6 in the U.S., for more information go to
    Web surfers don’t forget to go to for the WEB BONUS TRACKS. This month will include a review of the QUEEN plus PAUL RODGERS show at the HSBC.
    QUEEN IN GOOD COMPANY…..The Return of the Champions tour featuring QUEEN and PAUL RODGERS (BAD COMPANY, FREE) made its way into Buffalo on St. Patty’s Day this past week. The British rockers are in the midst of their first North American tour in twenty years, and first obviously without the late great FREDDIE MERCURY.
    The collaboration with RODGERS began as a jam session at a charity event in 2004 and has taken on “A Kind of Magic” ever since. Guitarist BRIAN MAY explains, “We felt an instant chemistry with PAUL on stage that night, we weren’t looking for a FREDDIE MERCURY replacement or impersonator, we where looking for someone with whom we had a good chemistry to reinterpret the QUEEN classics.”
    While some steadfast QUEEN faithful may have a difficult time understanding this union, the thing that should take precedent over anything else is that the tremendous talents of BRIAN MAY and ROGER TAYLOR can once again be showcased. While no one on the planet can ever replace the prismatic FREDDIE MERCURY it should be quite clear that “The Show Must Go On”. This is far from a nostalgia tour it is a celebration of the music of QUEEN.
    While the luck of the Irish didn’t shine down at the box office as the show at the HSBC was quite sparse as most of Western New York was celebrating St. Patrick’s Day; there certainly was no lack of enthusiasm from the band or the crowd. The evening commenced with the voice of whom else but FREDDIE MERCURY beaming from above with a past performance of “It’s a Beautiful Day”. It didn’t take long for the mood to become mischievous as the band tore into a blistering rendition of “Tie Your Mother Down” and “Fat Bottomed Girls”. The rest of the show was filled with QUEEN classics as MAY and his searing solos soared to the rafters, erupting following an acoustic opening of “Hammer to Fall”.
    While RODGERS and MERCURY possess varied vocal styles the soulful blues element that he brings to the music didn’t drain the songs of any of the emotion that MERCURY left behind. RODGERS is no stranger to stardom as he fronted one of the most celebrated bands of the 1970’s with BAD COMPANY. The night was all about the love as BAD CO. favorites “Feel Like Makin Love” and “Can’t Get Enough” would shine within the setlist. For those in attendance this proved to be a “Rock and Roll Fantasy” as MAY and TAYLOR would make colossal contributions to the classic cuts, especially in the harmonies.
    As the performance intensified the pressure would be on to bring the evening to a close and the British Rock Royalty didn’t disappoint. As the arena went dark the video screens would light up with FREDDIE MERCURY seated at his piano with a spine tingling intro to “Bohemian Rhapsody” before RODGERS and company joined in. They would also break out another gem which has never been played live in the states as RODGERS, MAY and TAYLOR belted out the QUEEN and DAVID BOWIE classic “Under Pressure”.
    The only way to close out an already impassioned “Killer Queen” show is with an encore of “We Will Rock You”/ “We Are The Champions”; with the FREE favorite “All Right Now” sandwiched in between.
    Western New Yorkers who where filling up on green beer and missed this awe-inspiring show you don’t have to be green with envy as the QUEEN plus PAUL RODGERS: “Return of the Champions” concert is available on DVD and CD in stores now.

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