The Winery Dogs
The Saban Theater – Beverly Hills, CA – 5/31/19
The Winery Dogs
At the end of their last tour there was some speculation that The Winery Dogs might be over and done. Richie Kotzen with his booming solo career, Billy Sheehan with Sons Of Apollo, Mr. Big etc…and Mike Portnoy, also with Sons Of Apollo and every other gig that required a person that plays drums.
But alas, the (3) stars aligned and the scheduling gods (Dogs) intervened. And here we are…the end of another, relatively short, tour that saw 3 of the best rock musicians in the world come together yet again. Out of all the “Super Groups” out there these days, and it seems they’re popping up almost daily, this is the one that I hope never stops rocking.
The setlist on this tour healthily covered both of the WD albums. Kicking off with “Elevate” into “Captain Love“, “Hot Streak“, “Time Machine“, there was barely time for a breath. The usually subdued LA crowd were on their feet for the whole show…
Highlights of the set included Billy’s always amazing, awe inspiring bass solo..
Richie, channeling every emotion while sitting down at the Piano for a solo version of his song, “The Road“…
Mike’s general playfulness and drumstick olympics all throughout the set, including a great drumstick flip from his cymbal…
And the amazing versions of “The Lamb“, “Regret” and “The Dying” which were enough to raise the hairs on the back of your neck.
What I love about a Winery Dogs show is that each member gets plenty of moments to shine, whether its Billy’s Bass solo, Mike’s Incredible Drum Antics or Richie getting to shred on extended solos.
Because it was the last night of the tour, the guys weren’t quite ready to leave the stage so soon, so instead of finishing right away with last song, “Desire“, they treated the Saban Theater to a ramped up rendition of Gary Wright’s, “Love Is Alive“.
The end of the set came complete with a Mike Portnoy, DOGZilla-style, Drum Rampage…
I’ve written about the Winery Dogs before…and my opinion hasn’t changed…they’re incredible musicians and together, they have produced two albums of eclectic greatness. This was an incredible show and the LA faithful, fans and friends alike, showed up in droves to to witness the brilliance of Richie, Billy and Mike. Spotted in the crowd were Mike & Billy’s Sons of Apollo bandmates, Jeff Scott Soto, and Derek Shirinian, Nuno from Extreme, Lita Ford Bandmates, Marty O’Brien and Patrick Kennison, Producer, Jay Ruston, Alice Cooper & Hollywood Vampires Drummer, Glen Sobel, singer Diamante, as well as drummer extraordinaire Kenny Aronoff and guitarist Steve Lukather (although rumor has it he may have been there to see his son’s band ZFG)
The good news, as announced by Richie at the end of the show, is that not only do the Winery Dogs plan to tour again, but it most likely will be in support of their 3rd album. TAKE. MY. MONEY. NOW!!!!!
Full Winery Dogs Gallery: Here
ZFG or Zero Fucks Given opened up the show. This is a band that isn’t ready to be defined. They meld a bunch of different genres, including Pop, Funk and Rock, but tonight definitely rocked. The band consists of Trev Lukather (guitar), Jules Galli (vocals), Sam Porcaro (bass) and Josh Devine (drums).
Even though the Friday night, LA crowd were still fighting traffic and taking their time getting to the theater, it didn’t stop the band from giving their all on stage to the early birds. They played their hearts out as if the Saban were a stadium.
I’ve seen Jules play with his funk outfit on occasion and was always impressed by his talent. He seems really comfortable fronting this 4 piece and I wish this band lots of success. Jules announced that they’ll be hitting the road in support of AOR legends, Toto on their upcoming European tour.