Cinderella @ Crystal Palace, Pontiac (US)

CINDERELLA / John Corabi

Date: 12th July, 2011
Venue: Pontiac Crystal Palace
Ticket: $30 (€21) adv. / $35 (€ 25) door
Promoter: n/a


MariaV: Do you believe in fairytales? Or are you feeling too old for stuff like that? Well, after last night’s concert, I do believe in dragons, fairies, witches, bad stepmothers… And mostly, I truly believe that dreams do come true at the end. For me, to watch CINDERELLA live was a pipe dream since I was a kid. I remember watching their video clips and listening to their songs twenty years ago and I so wanted to attend to a CINDERELLA concert. Unfortunately, the years have passed, I grew up way enough and my unfulfilled dream just became true last night: of course, no matter the years, CINDERELLA’s show had it all: pulse, heat, sweat, die-hard fans screaming in the first rows, and on top of that we had to deal with Tom Keifer’s excellent performance. But this one, we save it for the end.

Reaching the small town of Pontiac, IL that rainy day, we didn’t get the feeling that a live concert would take place there. As we came closer to Crystal Palace though, we saw the first limos parked outside the venue while few people entering the venue and then we said, ‘yep, we’re in the right place’. We entered the Palace few minutes before John Corabi hit the main stage, and we went straight to the merch stand where the choosing one CINDERELLA tee was so hard! I love when I have this kind of problems in my life, you know!

I hadn’t the opportunity to watch John Corabi’s career since he left MÖTLEY CRÜE, so I didn’t what to expect from his performance. The sure thing is that the crowd was in a perfect shape and ready to rouse every person who was inside the club, judging by the non-stop singing all those songs that hit us by the speakers, before Corabi’s performance, among them BON JOVIs "Living On A Prayer"and JOURNEY’s "Don’t Stop Believin’". As scheduled, John stepped onstage 15 minutes before 9pm and took his acoustic guitar to give us few samples of his new record, as well as some earlier success from the CRÜE era. Well, I don’t know if an acoustic opening act fits to a CINDERELLA concert, the atmosphere was great though; everyone seemed to know the lyrics and the sure thing is that Pontiac loves Corabiwho hit us with "Love (I Don’t Need It Anymore)" (originally played by UNION) and THE SCREAM’s "Father, Mother, Son".

Of course, the MÖTLEY CRÜE stuff was part of the menu and the crowd responded very well, singing all the lyrics when Corabi played "Home Sweet Home" and "Hooligan’s Holiday". Although, the only thing I didn’t like were the big pauses between the songs, where he talked about each song, even telling us some histories from the AEROSMITH experience sharing the same studio, saying how cool guy Steven Tyler is and blah, blah, blah, creating long gaps and spoiling the singing and the ‘having fun’ atmosphere. But still I can’t blame for this, even if it’s hard to warm up the fans with a single voice and an acoustic guitar, without action happening on stage. The night was perfect and, at least, Corabi prepared us for a non-stop rocking show that we will never forget.

John Corabi

John Corabi @ Crystal Palace @ Pontiac (US) (Photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) John Corabi @ Crystal Palace @ Pontiac (US) (Photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) John Corabi @ Crystal Palace @ Pontiac (US) (Photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos)

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DimK: God damn it! I waited very long for this live and if you add the fact that I came extremely close to watch CINDERELLA onstage 3 years ago butKeifer’s vocal issues lead to a cancellation, made my expectations even greater. I think we were almost 150 faces inside the venue - having an average age of more than 38yrs - after Corabi had left the stage. While waiting for the headliners, I was once again annoyed by the many almost drunks who have been pouring beer down their throats since the door opening. I mean, do you have to yell to each other (I don’t think alcohol induces temporary deafness) and stand like you are on a rocking boat or something? And if you add the high humidity, then you will understand my frustration...

But all the complaints became history as soon as AC/DC’s "Rock And Roll Ain't Noise Pollution" had ‘entered’ as the intro for CINDERELLA. Then talking/ yelling gave its place to singing, fully enjoying the ‘full’ sound with a clarity that was not expected for this venue. And then… the band showed up facing a most enthusiastic welcome and started the show with no talking but with "Once Around The Ride" from the legendary debut record (yes, record because those days vinyl was still on top of the food chain). Everyone who is familiar to this band knows the voice problems Keifer had endured. This means a different vocal timbre and in case a more harsh voice than a CINDERELLA can deal with. But, that night Tom sounded great! His vocal vibrato was there and went hand-in-hand with his cool looks (love the scurf). The band took the stage by storm and hit us right in the face with their groovy up-tempo Glam Metal that is sooooo missed these days. No, I don’t believe that the new bands can re-capture the magic and the aesthetics of the 90s simply by painting their eyes and wearing the proper gear. It is sad but we have to admit this scene is dead...

But not that night! The trademark drum beat was joined by the killer guitar groove of "Shake Me" and there was I trying to hold my heart from exploding! Come on, cut me some slack here; I was a fan of CINDERELLA back in my school days and was listening to these tracks from pirate cassette tapes (no money for the originals). I was in Glam heaven and hence I was not turned off with "Heartbreak Station"that was an odd choice having a slower track, while the energy levels were hitting the roof. On the other hand, nobody seemed to care and joined Tom in singing the heart breaking lyrics. And then "Somebody Save Me"... Can one stand still listening to the massive rhythm section? No one did and the entire venue was vibrating and after a while was also sweating since everyone was dancing, singing, leaving aside the drinking part for a while. As I said, the sound was amazing and the guitar solo was the icing on the cake proving that Jeff LaBar is still on top of his game. But he was not the only one giving a great performance, since the band looked super tight, giving the impression that the 25 years have left them untouched. “They should try to get in the studio”, I managed to think seconds before the lights got that pinkish color from the "Night Songs" album as a preamble of the self-titled song. This one got into the highlights of that night performed with perfection and there I was enjoying the slide guitar sounds singing on top of my lungs: “Night Songs”

It was time to slow things down a little bit with the massive power ballad "Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone)". A piano was brought on the centre of the stage waking all the memories from the video clip I used to watch on the TV in any given chance. The band did not perform the entire track but moved to another Glam hymn "Nobody's Fool". Tom came close to the front rows (there was no photo-pit and the stage was not that elevated) and started singing the chorus like he did in the official clip of the song (if you don’t remember it, hit youtube and see what I am talking about). Did I say I was in heaven? I think I did and I am sure I thought that during the concert more than 666 times...

Next came the super-hit "Gypsy Road" with more singing along and a lot of sweat, turning the concert into a party and a hearty trip down the memory lane. This song was the end of the regular setlist and the band stepped over the stage. Now, I have been in many concerts and have watched my encores but I was not prepared for the crowd’s reaction. Everyone was screaming for more with so loud voices that others had to plug their ears not bearing the volume. A single spotlight was lit and Tom showed up and started playing the opening solo of "Long Cold Winter". The rest of the band joined in and the keyboards added the blues layer, sending massive shivers down my spine. It is a well known fact that Tom loves the blues and that is why CINDERELLA released the pretty different "Heartbreak Station". To put it as simple as possible, CINDERELLA nailed that song! For some minutes the venue turned into a Blues bar – bringing the Chicago scene closer to Pontiac – reaching a climax during the guitar solo were Tom and Jeff shared the spotlight, playing back to back an extended version that should have been included in the studio version!

"Shelter Me" was great finishing with more singing along following the mood lifting melodies, the slide guitar that is always welcome and the short but nice saxophone solo. So, without too much talking or wasting time CINDERELLA gave a solid performance, celebrating the 25 years, raising the expectations that there is energy to get back in the studio. It will be a shame for CINDERELLA to end after this string of shows and after the energy those guys are putting on. There are not many ‘90s bands, especially from the Glam scene, that are still capable to pull this type of show; and don’t push me, I won’t mention POISON here who failed to celebrated their 25 years...

CINDERELLA setlist:

01. "Once Around the Ride"
02. "Shake Me"
03. "Heartbreak Station"
04. "Somebody Save Me"
05. "Night Songs"
06. "The More Things Change"
07. "Coming Home"
08. "Second Wind"
09. "Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone)"
10. "Nobody's Fool"
11. "Gypsy Road"
12. "Long Cold Winter"
13. "Shelter Me"

CINDERELLA

Cinderella @ Crystal Palace @ Pontiac (US) (Photos By Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Cinderella @ Crystal Palace @ Pontiac (US) (Photos By Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Cinderella @ Crystal Palace @ Pontiac (US) (Photos By Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Cinderella @ Crystal Palace @ Pontiac (US) (Photos By Dimitris Kontogeorgakos)
Cinderella @ Crystal Palace @ Pontiac (US) (Photos By Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Cinderella @ Crystal Palace @ Pontiac (US) (Photos By Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Cinderella @ Crystal Palace @ Pontiac (US) (Photos By Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Cinderella @ Crystal Palace @ Pontiac (US) (Photos By Dimitris Kontogeorgakos)
Cinderella @ Crystal Palace @ Pontiac (US) (Photos By Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Cinderella @ Crystal Palace @ Pontiac (US) (Photos By Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Cinderella @ Crystal Palace @ Pontiac (US) (Photos By Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Cinderella @ Crystal Palace @ Pontiac (US) (Photos By Dimitris Kontogeorgakos)

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