THE problem reviewing live albums when you are “of a certain age” is the temptation to draw comparisons with the classics like UFO’s Strangers In The Night, MSG’s Live at Budokan and Iron Maiden's Live After Death.
A live album has to capture the energy of the crowd and transport you there to see the musicians sweat, smell the pyro and get the buzz you only get at live gigs. When you’ve been lucky enough to see the band playing on the tour during which the album was recorded you have a fair idea what to expect.
With the Dead Daisies you have charismatic front man John Corabi, you know, the guy who sang on Motley Crue’s ‘best’ album, steady and original member David Lowry on rhythm guitar, the powerhouse duo of Marco Mendoza (bass) and Brian Tichy (drums) and Dee Snyder’s mate Doug Aldrich on lead guitar, a player who just seems to get better and better, so you know that it’s going to rock and most of all.... be fun! Something that seems to have been replaced by the mundane reality of social media.
And 'Live and Louder' is a fun album.
‘Long Way To Go’ kicks off proceedings with a bang. Its AC/DC style riff and thunderous playing of Tichy and Mendoza gives the show a high energy start. Corabi is already in fine fettle on the mic and Aldrich’s fills and solo already drag you in to vibe.
Moving straight into ‘Mexico’, a mid tempo rocker that keeps the energy high with Corabi quickly getting the crowd involved. Clearly the band are a well oiled machine and Aldrich produces the first of many blistering solo’s.
Recorded in various European venues ‘Make Some Noise’ from Vienna really does. Starting with a bit of Shredding from Aldrich and Tichy pounding the skins as if his life depended on it the crowd are fully engaged. It has a great riff throughout and produces that fun and enjoyment mentioned earlier.
‘Song and a Prayer’ is a solid, steady rocker with a great mix of riffs, hooks, Aldrich fills with Mendoza and Tichy as solid as ever. Mix in Corabi’s vocals and quickly becomes a crowd favourite.
Dead Daises like to throw in a cover or two of songs that influenced them when they were growing up and the brilliant version of Creedance Clearwater Revivals ‘Fortunate Son’ is the first one they play. Corabi is on top form on vocals.
‘We All Fall Down’ follows and has all the hallmarks of a classic rock song. Good solid riff, rhythm section complimented by the rhythm guitar, obligatory subtle key change and Aldrich knocking another one out of the park!
So far all the songs are from their second and third albums, “Revolución” and “Make Some Noise” but their first self titled album gets a run out with ‘Lock ‘n ‘ Load’. It’s a slower tempo song with Aldrich taking over the role originally played by Slash which he does with aplomb. A much more melodic sound to this song that breaks the set up nicely.
That slower tempo continues with the start of ‘Something I Said’ with Corabi in his element with the background vocals complimenting perfectly. However it soon turns into a bit more of a rocker mid way through it though with a sublime solo from Aldrich.
‘The Last Time I Saw The Sun’ is a song about being on the road and has a great slide guitar intro from Aldrich before a full on up tempo rocker takes over. Tichy and Mendoza are tighter than an err, tight thing and there’s bit of cowbell (there’s no such thing as too much cowbell!) There’s no doubt Aldrich is enjoying playing in this band.
The Who’s ‘Join Together’ is next to get the cover treatment. With a voice box used to good effect to open and Corabi doing a great job on Daltry’s vocals which at their Belfast gig was a personal favourite of the Rock Radio N.I. legend that is Davy Warren! This is the song where Corabi whips the crowd up with Tichy keeping the beat going and Aldrich deploying the voice box again. You really get a feel for the atmosphere on this one.
‘With You and I’ follows with Corabi telling the now totally enthralled audience to pay special attention to the lyrics as there’s so much shit going on all over the world. There’s a great groove to this song with the band really laying it down.
Band introductions are next with wee snippets of AC/DC, Jimi Hendrix, Aerosmith and Judas Priest thrown in to keep the crowd fully involved!
‘Mainline’ is jokingly introduced as a ballad as it’s far from it and is the fastest and heaviest song in the set. With its slightly punky feel to it, it is pure raw energy from start to finish with a tip of the hat to Mendoza for a great bass line.
Three more cover songs follow starting with the Beatles song ‘Helter Skelter’ (originally on their Face I Love ep). Having been covered by bands like Motley Crue, Gillan, Aerosmith and Guns ‘n’ Roses this is probably one of the better versions, especially live!
This is followed up with an up tempo, hard hitting version of the Grand Funk Railroad song ‘American Band’ and the Dead Daisies do indeed “come to your town to help you party it down”
Amazingly we are at the final song and after a bit of banter with the crowd they unleash the full on riff attack that is ‘Midnight Moses’, originally by the Sensational Alex Harvey Band. Driven by Mendoza and Tichy, a nice rhythm guitar line from Lowry and Corabi still singing at full throttle Aldrich lets rip again on the lead and it’s a great ending to the album.
If you saw them on their recent tour this will take you right back to that night as it’s total in your face Rock’n’Roll that few bands in this genre are capable of. If you missed them you NEED this album, actually you need it even if you were there!
Review by Andy Gillen