Dokken & Lynch Mob
Del Lago Casino, Waterloo NY
Feb 17, 2023
I remember back in 1984 when a friend recommended that I buy the Dokken Tooth and Nail album. So I went out and picked up the cassette and listened to it repeatedly. I always considered myself a true metal head, so I was torn about the ballads, but liked the rest of it. As a guitar player, I always liked George Lynch and was super impressed with his writing ability and the complexity of his guitar licks.
So you can imagine my excitement when I got the call from Vernomatic on 2/17/2023 for the opportunity to go see Dokken and Lynch Mob at Del Lago Casino in Waterloo NY. I called my wife Kelly, who is the queen of 80’s glam rock, because she loves Dokken. So at the last minute, we loaded up and headed to Waterloo, with just enough time to make the show. The atmosphere in the venue was classic 80’s rock, big hair tight jeans, leather, and jean jackets. All of us, just 35 years older.
The show started out with Lynch Mob, loud and heavy. You could feel the excitement in the room. George Lynch was everything I expected to see. Crystal clear sound and lightning fast guitar licks.
Behind him was the pounding of the drums by Jimmy D’Anda, formally of the Bullet Boys. Thumping on the bass was Jaron Gulino, formally of Tantric, L.I.F.E Project, Heaven’s Edge and Dellacoma. With his hair blowing around, he completed the full sound behind George.
As lead vocalist Gabriel Colon, formally, of Gothic Knights entered center stage wearing a black leather jacket covered with metals studs. (Classic Rob Halford). The excitement grew to hear the whole band play as one.
His vocals were clear, in key and his range was impressive to say the least. The band was well rehearsed and played awesome together. In between songs, they were busting balls and interacting with the crowd. They played 9 songs, some I was familiar with, but impressed by them all.
A brief intermission to break down equipment and to get ready for Dokken. The crowd went to re-up on drinks and grab a quick smoke, but returned in time to catch the beginning of the show. As the lights dimmed, the crowd roared, and were on their feet. Guitarist Jon Levin, formally of Warlock and Doro, started wailing a lead with drummer BJ Zampa from House of Lords and Bassist Chris McCarvill of House of Lords, completed the full sound. As the excitement grew, for the entrance of Don Dokken.
They opened with the song Don’t Close your Eyes. It was hard to hear the lead vocals and the song was a little muddled. Most of us attributed this to the sound not being dialed in.
2nd song was The Hunter, it was much the same, but we were able to hear the fullness of the band with the amazing back- up vocals of Bassist Chris McCarvill. 3rd song was Into The Fire. The sound had been adjusted by the sound crew, and the reality of the situation is that Don’s hard life on his body had taken its toll.
4th song was Breaking the Chains, it was apparent Don couldn’t hit the high notes and depended highly on the bassists’ superb vocals. Don moved very slow, due to a knee injury and multiple back surgeries. He could barely open his hands and couldn’t even turn the mic back on after it shut off. It was a sad reality that us Dokken fans had to face, that Don isn’t the performer he used to be. The next 2 songs were Dream Warriors and Just Got Lucky. It sounded much the same.
Then they played Alone Again, Don really put forth a great deal of effort, but you could tell he was struggling. The song was tolerable with the help of the backup vocals.
The next 3 songs were, Too High to Fly, Kiss of Death, and It’s Not Love. Don was completely struggling and the sound wasn’t good. It pains me to say as a long-time fan, and I don’t want to take anything away from the band who played amazingly, but Don no longer has the chops to be able to perform.
At this point, I was looking around the venue to a half empty seat. I believe the only thing keeping people there, was the anticipation of George Lynch coming out and performing 3 songs with Dokken. At the point where George was coming out to play, Don announced he had to pee and left the stage leaving the band and the audience dumbfounded. George took matters into his own hands and did a wailing lead to cover the time Don was gone. We looked at each other and decided to leave. To say the least the show was a disappointment, is an understatement. We have been fans for many years. It was heartbreaking to see the demise of a performer, who was a huge part of our teenage years. We want to say Thank You to the Dokken members and Lynch Mob for a great job.
Review courtesy of Metal Mayhem ROC Correspondents Kelly and Via Screamer
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