By Thomas S. Orwat, Jr.
Niagara Falls, NY – Tom Keifer, the leader/vocalist/guitarist and songwriter behind the multi-platinum selling 80’s hard-rock /glam-metal band Cinderella, has really transitioned well from Cinderella band leader to a solo artist. This was clearly evident last Friday when Keifer and his amazing band, consisting of Keifer’s wife Savannah Keifer – back ground vocals, piano, Tony Higbee – guitar, Billy Mercer – bass, Kendra Chantelle – background vocals, Jarred Pope – drums, Kory Myers – keyboards, performed a sold-out show at the intimate 400 seat Bears Den concert hall located inside the Seneca Niagara Casino.
Keifer’s 90 minute set featured a great mix of material, consisting of some from his groundbreaking solo releases, “Rise,’ which was released on September 13th, and ‘The Way Life Goes’ 2013, and others from the four Cinderella releases. From the first note to the last, the crowd remained standing and rocking out all the way through.
Keifer, who is 58 years young, had suffered through difficulties with his vocals in the past, but was spot on vocally this evening. The classic Cinderella hit, “Nobody’s Fool” was certainly one of the magic points of the evening. Keifer and band brought this epic song to the next level with an intense and passionate version enhanced by the melodic backing vocals of Savannah and Chantelle. Keifer left the stage and sang most of the song out in the audience to the delight of many.
Keifer shared the lead guitar duties with Tony Higbee, who is also the lead vocalist & lead guitarist for The East Side Gamblers and also guitar & vocals for The Damon Johnson Band. Keifer and Higbee had a jaw dropping, undeniable chemistry together and are truly one of the best guitar duos in rock music today. In the live setting these two are untouchable and very impressive.
For the Cinderella classic, “Don’t Know What You Got (Til It’s Gone),” Keifer asked the audience to “light up the place old school with your lighters or cell phones.” A piano was then brought to center stage. Keifer took a seat behind it, as Savannah stood on the side of it. The two of them melodically sang the the first half of the song together. Then for the solo, Keifer grabbed his guitar and kicked into the song’s face melting solo.
The very first single Cinderella hit, “Shake Me,” was played next. Keifer was spot on vocally, hitting every note just like he did 33 years ago when the song was first released. At this point to crowd was at a near frenzy shouting back each word to Keifer.
The show ended with a rousing three song encore, “Long Cold Winter,” The Death of Me” (from the ‘Rise’ record) and “Gypsy Road.”
Overall, Keifer provided an amazing show and a truly entertaining night out for rock music lovers. Keifer certainly is still musically relevant with his unique style of blues influenced-rock. His band is incredible and his two solo releases are just as good as, if not better than, the four Cinderella records. Other than Michael Sweet of Stryper, there aren’t many, if any, hard rock/glam-metal artists of the 80’s that keep progressing year after year. This certainly was a must see performance by a legendary and iconic musical artist.
Touching the Divine
It’s Not Enough
Somebody Save Me
Bad Seamstress Blues / Fallin’ Apart at the Seams
The Last Mile
Don’t Know What You Got (Til It’s Gone)
Long Cold Winter
The Death of Me
Special thanks to Amanda Cagan for the press credentials to cover this show.
For more on Tom Keifer, please visit www.tomkeifer.com