Well, lookie what we have here. Mr. Scary comes rolling into town on a Friday night and the nostalgia just comes back in waves.
Man, I was a huge friggin’ Dokken fan back in high school. Sure, they were hair metal. Sure, they were associated with one of the most atrociously cheesy album covers in the history of time (Google “Under Lock and Key”…I had that image on a tour shirt and wore it with pride). Sure, Don Dokken was a gigantic sap and his singing left quite a lot to be desired. Buuuuuuttttt, they had this dude named George Lynch and he made up for everything wrong with this band. George was truly one of the quintessential 80s era guitar heroes. I was discussing Dokken the other day with the punk rock fiancée and told her that the Dokken albums just don’t quite hold up as they did when I was a teenager. But dammit, once Don gets finished butchering a lyric about having a jaded heart or going on about his heart burnin’ like a flame or some other saccharine nonsense, Lynch would just take over with a guitar lead that would just bash your face in. They may not be great songs, but Lynch’s guitar solos will always stand as some of the most searing moments from hair metal era of the 1980s.
Right before the show started, I had a memory that came crashing back. This was one of the seminal rock n roll images from my childhood and, in many respect, just represents everything that is awesome about metal. So, it was either 1988 or 1989 and Dokken was opening up for Aerosmith at the Erwin Center. Back For the Attack had just come out. I remember running kind of late to the show and my friends and I were freaking out because we might miss Dokken’s set. Luckily, we made it to the arena just in the nick of time. We were actually walking down the aisle to our seats when the lights in the arena went black. The crowd erupted. All of a sudden a single spotlight hits the stage trained directly on Lynch. He is on one knee with his guitar raised in the air and he just starts ripping into the opening riff of Kiss of Death. I was frozen in place. This was the absolute coolest and most heavy metal thing I had ever seen.
Anyway, Friday night wasn’t quite as epic as that memory, but Lynch proved that he is still an absolute bad ass with a guitar in his hands. He and his Lynch Mob compatriots ripped through a nicely balanced set of choice Dokken and Lynch Mob cuts. It wasn’t a very large crowd, but those in attendance were boisterous and had a hell of a time.
Lynch Mob-Street Fighting Man
Dokken-Into the Fire