PHOTOS and REVIEW BY THOMAS S. ORWAT, JR.
Williamsville NY- An enthusiastic sold-out crowd witnessed the 7th annual Christmas Rocks Concert by MOB- The Musicians of Buffalo, which consists of three all-star performers from Buffalo, NY: Billy Sheehan, Jessie Galante and Bobby Lebel.
This dynamic trio is backed by musicians Elton Hough, Bruce Decker Sue Kincaid, Marilyn Hudson and horns: Phil Sims, Harry Fackelman, Jason Moynihan, John Maguda, Mark Filsinger, Ken Kuriscak. In addition, many other prominent local musicians were invited onstage to perform, including Buffalo Hall of Fame inductee vocalist Jim Crean along with DeeAnn DiMeo, Tom Geraci, Craig Korka, Joe Steinwachs and Peter Vincent.
Before MOB hit the stage, Robby Takac of the Buffalo, NY, chart-topping band the Goo Goo Dolls, started the evening off by taking the stage and thanking the MOB organization and the audience for their support of his non-profit organization “Music is Art,” to which the revenues from this performance were donated. For more on Music Is Art visit www.musicisart.org
MOB hit the stage soon after and performed an impressive set of classic holiday songs. Vocalist Jessie Galante rocked out on the songs “(Christmas) Baby Please Come Home” and “Jingle Bell Rock.” She has such an incredible and commanding voice. Galante’s former band Actor was one of the biggest bands in the Buffalo, NY area during the early 80’s. Durung her career, Galante has released several well-crafted solo records which can be found on Spotify.
After that segment, the legendary bass player Billy Sheehan (Talas, David Lee Roth, Mr. Big, Winery Dogs) took to the stage to pay tribute to several musicians and music insiders who had ties to the WNY area and passed away during the year. Sheehan announced at the conclusion that he hoped that next year he wouldn’t have any names to pay tribute to.
Next up was a reunion of guitarist Bobby Lebel’s rock band Rred, which also includes Sal Trinca, Michael O’Mara, and Dave Borkowski. This was the band’s first performance in 38 years. They played a hard-hitting set highlighted with a note for note perfect performance of the Led Zeppelin classic “Whole Lotta Love.” It was announced that they will be returning to The Stage in early February for a full evening performance.
MOB ended this very memorable evening with a set of classic rock covers, including the Fleetwood Mac classic “O Well” which featured Sheehan on lead vocals. But it was Sheehan’s jaw dropping virtuoso bass playing that left the audience in awe during this portion of the performance.
Vocalist Jim Crean (Scream Taker, APPICE Brothers, Hair Nation) joined the band onstage for an epic performance of two classic AC/DC Bon Scott era songs, “Problem Child” and “Whole Lotta Rosie.” His voice is so powerful and fit in so well with Sheehan and Lebel’s wall of sound.
The evening ended with all the participants joining on stage and singing “Silent Night.”
In summary, the 7th annual Christmas Rocks Concert by MOB was a truly entertaining night which showcased many of the great musicians from the Buffalo, NY area. Thank you to Galante, Sheehan & Lebel for providing the Buffalo, NY area with such a great charity driven event and bringing almost all of the Buffalo music community together. This was definitely the must-see Holiday concert in WNY.
The MOB Christmas CD can be purchased by clicking here.