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Sixth Annual Bo & Jim Bash Featuring CHEAP TRICK and FOREIGNER

Bo Roberts and Jim White were celebrating their 35th year together and what better way to celebrate than to have Lonestar 92.5 throw the partners in crime a party. STONE COLD SWEAT, with Bo as vocalist, was joined by Jim and producer Randy James to open the Bash with six songs from their B-side rock and funk repertoire.

The band, who would feel right at home on the streets of New Orleans, led off with “Shake Your Love” to get their loyal fans all pumped up. Electrifying guitar riffs by Rick Burt kept the audience pumped up for the whimsical “Why Me?” Jim kept many eyes on him as he wore pants that were almost as bright as the recent eclipse.

The satirical “Too Much Stuff” entertained, as did “Got My Mojo Workin’.” Gary Boyd laid down a dirty bass beat on “The Girl Can’t Help It” with a pounding drum beat from Mark Pinson. The band is always in demand to play locally and finished their all-too-short set with Jerry Fisher striking the keys with precision in the always-fun “Riot In Cell Block #9.”

STONE COLD SWEAT featuring Bo & Jim

People were scrambling for their seats as Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience started early. Luckily, they played a short intro before Jason Bonham began pounding “Rock And Roll.” The energy started at the top and kept rising for their whole set.

Everyone was now in their seats, but jumped out of them for “Black Dog.” Vocalist James Dylan sounds as much like Robert Plant as anyone possibly can and nailed it. Tony Catania lit up the crowd with the distinctive guitar intro to “Over The Hills And Far Away” and kept the audience cheering as he shined in the extended jam that accompanied the song.

Dylan got down on his knees to sing as the three musicians channeled the spirit of Zeppelin and put out an amazing amount of music on “The Wanton Song.” Bonham had fun watching the crowd as everyone knew every song by heart and they almost drowned out the terrific musicians on “What Is And What Should Never Be.”

Bonham pounded the intro before Catania stretched the strings for a long, hollow sound on “Ramble On.” Dorian Heartsong slapped the bass with authority as he and the others joined in on a jam for another song that has stood the test of time. JB yelled, “Get on your feet and yell for Bonzo,” before thrilling the crowd with “When The Levee Breaks.” As with so many Led Zep songs, it contained a number of chord changes that made them so unique and ahead of their time in the rock world.

In a nice surprise, the tribute band added “Immigrant Song” to their setlist of classic songs. It drew a huge response for its hard drum beat by Bonham and Dylan’s screaming vocals. The crowd became deafening for their finale “Whole Lotta Love.” Every note fit perfectly into an overall puzzle to raise the quality of the music. They ended with a drum-infused jam session to finish on a natural musical high.

JASON BONHAM’S LED ZEPPELIN EXPERIENCE

“Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, the best fucking rock band you’ve ever seen – CHEAP TRICK” was the intro as the constantly -touring band came onstage. Vocalist Robin Zander, decked out in a white suit and white pimp hat, led off with their usual opener, “Hello There.”

Rick Nielsen, who had managed to stand still for the first three notes of the opening song, fingered the fret on “Big Eyes.” It sounded as good good as it did when it was new as Zander still has amazing pipes. True fans loved the deep cut “Hot Love” from their first album.

Nielsen and bassist Tom Petersson had fun with a guitar duel during “On Top Of The World.” Looking through Rick’s lightning fast fingers, one could see “Gonna Raise Hell” written on the fret of his guitar. The lyric-driven “Borderline,” co-written by Todd Rundgren, meshed well with Robin’s “Music Has Value” T-shirt.

From their 18th studio album, We’re All Alright, came the vintage-sounding “Long Time Coming.” Rick’s solo is only one of the reasons the new single is doing well on the charts. Petersson followed that with an aggressive bass solo with ending help from Daxx Nielsen, Rick’s son, on drums. Tom, former bassist for The Velvet Underground, does so much more than just keep the beat with his four-string and the fans took note of it.

Petersson then sang “I Know What I Want,” a tune that fir his edgy sound perfectly. The spotlight then fell on Zander and his powerful voice for “Stop This Game” as he became playful on the stage.

The distinctive beginning notes of ‘The Flame”set the women to “oohing” and “aahing.” The power ballad sounded as good as it did in 1988 and elicited the same enthusiastic response. The crowd went bonkers for “I Want You To Want Me,” a song required by law to play on classic rock stations at least twice a day. The fans sang every word as Nielsen threw handfuls of picks into the crowd.

Zander got down on one knee as a roadie put a jacket around his shoulders, James Brown style, during “Dream Police.” The crowd popped hard for “Surrender” and screamed, “We’re all alright,” for a couple of minutes and would have kept it going all night long, if possible.

Nielsen came out with a double neck guitar with frets shaped like the legs of a cartoon character. A cartoon-like head protruded from the back for “Auf Wiederseshen.” The seminal rock and roll song segued into “Goodnight,” their usual closing song. Nielsen traded up to his five-neck model for the jam session ending. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band basked in the spotlight before leaving after their 65-minute set.

CHEAP TRICK

A quick intro brought out FOREIGNER to the expansive stage as the fans energetically jumped up and began moving to “Double Vision.” Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of their eponymous debut album, they came out with a renewed energy and showed what they’ve done right over the years. Actually, several things right. They’ve put out music that fans love to listen to over and over. They’ve entertained fans in concert so that they want to come back to see them perform. And, they’ve gained a whole new generation of fans along the way.

Vocalist Kelly Hansen absolutely looked and fit the part of a rock star as he sang, danced, and entertained as only a rock star can as the band segued into “Head Games.” Hansen explored the whole stage as co-founder Mick Jones and Bruce Watson shred dual guitar solos before adding a funky beat to end the hit song.

Introducing Jones as a real rock star because he got an air conditioner in front of him on this sweltering day, the band played the drum-infused “Cold As Ice.” Hansen moved about the crowd during the jam before jumping back onstage to finish their third Top 10 hit in a row. Michael Bluestein led a keyboard intro and every woman in the crowd thought the vocalist was singing directly to her during “Waiting For A Girl Like You.” His sweeping gestures kept the ladies swooning to the forthright lyrics.

In an impromptu move, the audience voted on the next song. “Blue Morning, Blue Day” received the loudest cheer among the three choices on the ballot. Again, it was a singalong as every fan knew the words to the hit song.

Kelly got everyone’s attention by talking about beautiful Texas women and asking about dirty girls. This was a perfect segue to a raucous version of “Dirty White Boy.” Jeff Pilson (co-founder of Dokken) played an aggressive bass on his Fender P as the audience sang the refrain louder than Hansen.

The fans erupted for Foreigner’s very first hit, “Feels Like The First Time.” The crowd sang the entire song as Kelly explored every inch of the stage with his dancing during the jam session. Smoke machines bellowed as Thom Gimbrel moved to center stage with his saxophone for “Urgent” to everyone’s delight.

Mick began singing “Starrider” with Thom on flute for 70s style prog-rock sound. The band’s cohesion showed that this current incarnation of the group has been together for many years and developed a rapport with each other.

Bluestein got a chance to show his prowess as he played a resounding keyboard solo before drummer Chris Frazier joined him. They showed a lot of flair and emotion as it moved directly into “Juke Box Hero,” one of the many songs that led to founders Mick Jones and Lou Gramm being inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. As the lights came up, Hansen was on top of a pole by the sound booth. He returned to the stage to bang the hell out of a tambourine in the set-ending song with its long, crowd-pleasing jam session.

The standing ovation brought them back out and the women swooned again to “I Want To Know What Love Is.” Couples danced and cameras flashed as they brought out the Lake Worth High School Choir to sing backup as the young kids were treated to the thrill of a lifetime.

Everyone stayed until the end and they got to hear one of the ultimate concert-closing songs in “Hot Blooded.” All the musicians soloed, then joined together for a jam session that lasted several minutes and raised the energy level to new heights.

The 13 songs over one-and-a-half hours showed why they have sold over 80 million albums. With 16 top 30 singles, they can’t play everything, but what they did play was a Greatest Hits setlist.

The night covered some of the greatest classic rock ever recorded. It brought back memories and entertained the listeners at the same time, the mark of great music. And Bo and Jim have been around for most of it.

FOREIGNER

David Simers
David is a music writer for classic rock, country and blues. He writes concert reviews, album reviews and conducts interviews.
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