CINDERELLA’s TOM KEIFER – A Calm In The Midst Of Chaos

November 20, 2015, 2 years ago

Nick Balazs

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It seemed just like another Friday night of rocking and rolling in Cleveland at the Hard Rock Rocksino with Cinderella’s Tom Keifer hitting the stage with his solo band in tow. There was trepidation in the air however as the events in Paris radiated an odd feeling of going to a show knowing an Eagles Of Death concert was just subject to a horrible event.

Once inside the wide concert hall, the tense was lifted and there were plenty on hand for the evening. The show was hosted by none other than Riki Rachtman (MTV Headbanger’s Ball dude) and apparently it was his first time in the Cleveland area and in addition to talking with fans after the show, he introduced the man of the hour, who was clad in a black jean-type jacket with a French flag patch and immediately set the tone with “Bad Seamstress Blues/Fallin’ Apart At The Seams”. Touring behind his 2013 solo debut album, The Way Life Goes, he seamlessly integrated his solo tracks with the Cinderella classics. The rocking and frolicking “It’s Not Enough” and energetic “Solid Ground” were not out their element next to “Somebody Save Me” (a personal favorite) and “Shake Me”.

Keifer possesses a strong presence in front of the mic. He knows how to hit all the audience’s buttons with his mannerisms and keeping the stage banter to a minimum with some self-deprecating humor like, “I don’t know what the hell I’m doing up here,” after twiddling on an acoustic guitar. Keifer also spoke with a bit of a country twang (no doubt adapted since moving to Nashville) and addressed the audience as “folks”. And it made his beckoning for a crowd sing-along more heartwarming.

The middle section featured Keifer settling things down with a trio of acoustic tracks like the country tinged “Heartbreak Station”, the solo tune “The Flower Song” and “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)”, featuring Keifer’s wife Savannah sharing the vocal duties.

The latter part of the set featured heavy hitters like the hypnotizing “Night Song”, MTV-era hit “Nobody’s Fool”, the rocking ballad “Coming Home” and “Shelter Me”,, all which garnered heavy reception from the audience. Kiefer switched up guitars with ease and his voice has held up remarkably well considering his serious vocal issues which almost left him incapable of singing.

The encore was especially a delight with a dose of covers of The Rolling Stones’ “It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll (But I Like It)” and The Beatles’ “With A Little Help From My Friends”, done in Joe Cocker’s classic way. The last strike of the night was “Gypsy Road”, capping off an excellent set and an unforgettable performance. When it all wrapped up, Keifer addressed the crowd regarding the Paris attacks and the usually calm, cooled Keifer defiantly shouted “Fuck those motherfuckers” twice and said please keep all the victims in your prayers. Indeed we will.

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