Originally Published June 29th, 2012.
Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom.
Review by Ann James Joles
My husband is a longtime fan of glam rock. He saw all the big name bands while he was stationed at RAF Chicksands in England. Name any band from that era, and he has a story about seeing them. He probably got to hang out with them if the venue was small. If the venue was big, then the story goes more like…”that was the night we lost JB. We didn’t know where he was until two days later when he showed up on base. That was one hell of a show!”
Me? I don’t have those stories. I was in college. MTV videos were few and far between. Unless it was overplayed on the radio, I really don’t know it. I think that is why I love seeing the glam rock bands now. The music is sort of familiar, but at the same time it’s all brand new. I can just sit back and enjoy the rock’n’roll spectacle – fans and band alike.
Cinderella sold out the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom for their June 29th show. The band took the stage with “Once Around the Ride.” The crowd was primed, and so was Cinderella. The show was all about interaction with the crowd. It has to be. Glam rock fans come to hear the soundtrack of their lives, and this teeming group was no different. How do I know? I saw their faces and felt their energy while they sang along, laughed, grinned. For longtime fans, this is a brief trip back to the days when life was still about endless possibilities. Sitting in the crowd and chatting before the show, fans told me about their favorite songs, their first time seeing the band, and even gave me detailed run downs of touring chronology. These fans are amazing.
Keifer reveled as the crowd sang along. Before pitching the mic over the crowd, he yelled,
“How much noise you got in ya? You came ready to sing? You gonna make us feel it?”
Obliging, the crowd sang and rocked, as the band performed several roaring hits including, “Somebody Save Me” and “Shake Me,” before slowing down a bit for “The More Things Change.” They ended the main set with my personal favorite, “Gypsy Road,” before an encore of “Long Cold Winter” and “Shelter Me.” No one in the room ever showed signs of wanting to slow down. This band still has it. Everything that made them a touchstone of the glam rock era is up on that stage. Keifer gave the crowd goose bumps when he pushed out “Don’t Know What You Got ’til It’s Gone.” Sure, his vocal range may be showing a bit of age. A bit. A tiny little bit. But there is no mistaking that rattling howl. That is the voice all the other glam front guys wished they had. Keifer, Jeff LaBar, and Eric Brittingham are still flawless at stacking heavy rock guitars and Fred Coury brings it together with crashing drums.
While it has been many years of taking this show on the road, the guys in the band appeared to like each other and seemed to enjoy putting on the show. The stage show was interesting, hinging on 80s geometric lights, and showcased Keifer’s baby grand piano and steel guitar. There was just enough nostalgia with a little hairspray, a lot of attitude, and excess. And it was loud. Loud. No matter what anyone says, when our photo albums from the 80′s come out and our kids roll their eyes and laugh, we were a great era. Yes, we were excessive, but we looked fantastic. So what if the rock stars wore eyeliner.
We had fun. Thanks, Cinderella!
Keep bringing us back to those days when everything was possible.
Once Around the Ride ~ Shake Me ~ Heartbreak Station ~ Somebody Save Me ~ Nightsongs ~ The More Things Change ~ Coming Home ~ Second Wind ~ Don’t Know What You Got ’til It’s Gone ~ Nobody’s Fool ~ Gypsy Road
Encore: Long Cold Winter ~ Shelter Me
~Special Thanks to Christopher Joles.