DORO - Another Ladies Night In Buff...Ah, Cleveland
February 12, 2013, 2 years ago
By Mark Gromen
With my apologies to Billy Sheehan/TALAS (originators of the song, before co-oped by DAVID LEE ROTH), the winter months around the Great Lakes are long, often snow-filled and dreary. A Sunday night, even moreso, yet the metal fans of Northeastern Ohio triumph through the gloomy weather adversities, embracing a return engagement by Metal Queen DORO PESCH. It's been more than 25 years since she first graced the shores of Lake Erie, playing a headlining set (one of the first in North America) crammed onto a tiny, canopied stage on an outdoor deck in the Flats, then the city's burgeoning nightlife sector.
Tonight, with support from SISTER SIN and a number of local acts that included female members,she proved the age old adage, "The show must go on." Feeling ill and nursing her voice (from the stage she downplayed any thought of canceling), DORO still performed for almost two hours, including a couple of real surprises. She seemed fine when saying our goodbyes and briefly wishing her well on the the rest of the tour, but more than once throughout the night she slipped into German dialect, offering the heavily accented “zuper” and even “geil” in response to the audience reaction.
Opening with a high octane 'I Rule the Ruins', it was virtually non-stop into 'Burning the Witches'. By 'Fight For Rock', guitarist Bach Maas was already shirtless, despite the chill in the unheated (?) club. Bands half their age could only hope to muster a portion of the energy pulsating onstage. Her bassist for almost 23 years, Nick Douglas remains the Metal Tigger, bouncing around the stage, when not adding backing vocals (even more prominently on this night), while drummer Johnny Dee (another two decade veteran) drives the whole thing with his piston pumping display. The stage shone red for 'Running From The Devil', the Metal Queen, showing no evidence of her health limitations, worked the wings, in front of the trio of backing mics stretched across the expanse. When fans offered her gifts, she graciously thanked them, then kicked off 'True As Steel', under blue and purple spotlights.
New single 'Raise Your Fist In The Air' gave way to the proto-thrash of 'Metal Racer', hair flailing all around, onstage and in the crowd. The now shirtless Dee was afforded a drum solo, where he mimics the sing-along chorus of KISS' 'I Love It Loud'. DORO returned to the stage, asking for lighters to accompany the purple lit 'Metal Tango'. 'Unholy Love' got her talking about friends that helped her career: Gene Simmons, Udo Dirkschneider and offering the homage 'Hero',to the late Ronnie James Dio, the aforementioned lighters returned, without prompting. Only now did she reference her sickness, apologizing to the adoring crowd, saying, “I need a tea from the bar. No beer for me today.” Needless to say, someone brought a cup to the front of the stage.
A train driven 'Hellbound' was eagerly devoured, then her take on JUDAS PRIEST's 'Breaking The Law', beginning as a ballad, then exploding, Maas erupting as the tempo picks up. 'Burn It Up' followed and 'All We Are' closed what should have been the proper set. Rather than play the little encore game: leave stage, wait, return, the band stayed put launching into the Maas penned 'Revenge', one the heaviest tunes on a DORO record in years. 'East Meets West' would have been a fitting close, no one feeling disappointed and under the circumstances, more than admirable.
However, like the Energizer Bunny, once she's onstage, no matter the personal discomfort, she doesn't want to leave. God bless DORO. 'Love Me In Black' was dedicated to “so many beautiful ladies in the front row,” the lighters reappearing. Sunburst patterns rotated atop the artwork for her current album that served as the backdrop. Took a premature bow, before ending with 'We Are The Metalheads', the Wacken anthem, adding, “Just in case you guys want to take a trip to Germany.” Hands clapping overhead began 'Fur Immer', delivered almost entirely under red light, Dee wielding cushioned tympani mallets/drum sticks. It ended with her slapping hands with the front row and saying her goodbyes, but just when everyone (her band included) was ready to go home, she opted for 'Beyond The Trees', off Force Majeure.
Can't beat that rarity, so it really was the show-stopper. The band is about half way through their longest tour in many ages, playing to larger crowd (nearly sold-out in NYC!) and enjoying every minute of it. Long may the Metal Queen reign!
You can view more photos here.
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