Independent Democracy

Thought provoking commentary

Winger – Salt Lake City, UT concert review

Well I went to the Winger show last night and had a great time. It was at Club Vegas in downtown Salt Lake. Quite a step down from their late 80s, early 90s venues but just as fun anyway. It’s just about the same type of venue most 90s hair bands are playing at these days, except for Motley Crue and Def Leppard. Kip is touring with the original band members and although their latest album Winger IV was released last fall, they’re still promoting that album. I need to pick that up since I didn’t recognize any of the the new material, but I did like it.

The last time I saw Winger, was sometime around 1990 when they where touring after the In The Heart of the Young album. I saw them at Rocky Point amusement park in, R.I. I also saw Kip on his solo tour with Whitesnake about 4 years ago. Kip and all the band members looked different than I remember, but then again, everyone in the audience looks a lot different than they did 16+ years ago. There was still some big hair in the audience, albeit big hair with wrinkles, bigger buts, and I’m sure stretch marks under those ever so tight leather pants that were pulled out of the closet for the first time in years. I didn’t know anyone in the audience but we were all basically the same age and still had that love for loud big hair music. Sirius satellite radio has a station called Hair Nation which hold the #1 preset on my car radio. I never get tired of listening to it. Anyway, the now mid-30 audience was treated to an excellent show by one of my favorite hair bands. The show was filled with one hit after another, you might even call it a greatest hits show. They did play 2-3 songs from their new album but the band knew why we were there and they didn’t disappoint.

Let me sidetrack for a moment. Although I was not involved in the Station Fire tragedy of 4 years ago, I couldn’t help but think about it during this show. The venue was similar to the Station and the lack of exits and close quarters made me very aware of where I was in relation to the door. I stayed aware of what was going on and even looked up at the ceiling to try and determine what it was made of. No internal fireworks here thankfully but it’s strange how I was more aware at places like this than I probably was before the Station fire. It’s kind of like being more aware these days of what people are doing and saying on an airplane.

Anyway, I don’t remember the entire set list but remember the first song was Blind Revolution Mad and the last was Madalaine. Everything in between was either a former hit or at least a song I recognized. I was very happy that they played many songs from their 1993 Pull album which I consider very underrated. That was right around the time 90s alternative music started to push hair bands off the radio. I really loved that album back then and still like it a lot now. I haven’t picked up their latest album yet so I can’t say if they’re back to their hair band roots with that album. But definitely pick up Pull if you missed it in the early 90s. It’s an excellent album. The band sounded as good and in some ways better last night as they did their big hair heyday, which is a good thing.

The show went on for about an hour and a half with of course the ever popular drum and guitar solos mixed in. One funny part in the show was when Kip sang “She’s Only 35” during the Seventeen song. An obvious reference to the now mid 30s crowd. I’m really glad I ventured out on a snowy Monday evening even though I had to get up for work after just 3 1/2 hours of sleep. It was very much worth it to see a great hair band rock the night away for possibly the last time.

Winger still has some concerts scheduled in the next couple of weeks. In fact, at the 3-3-07 Galaxy show in Santa Ana, Ca, they’re recording the show live for an upcoming DVD release. On their MySpace page, they’re asking fans what songs they should play at that concert. I left them a post and basically said they need to play everything they played at the Club Vegas show. It was a great show and I can’t wait to see that DVD.

I took some photos of the show and recorded some video clips on my camera. The audio is not the greatest (that’s what happens when you’re at the front near the speakers) but it’s enough to recognize what the song is and allow me to remember what a fun show it was.

Here are the video clips:
Can’t Get Enuff 29 sec, 3.4M
Easy Come Easy Go
3 min, 17.9M
Loosen Up
44 sec, 4.3M
Seventeen 1 min 4 sec, 7.71M
Headed for a Heartbreak 19 sec, 2.18M
Headed for a Heartbreak clip2
56 sec, 6.56M
Miles Away clip 47 sec, 4.25M
Miles Away clip 2 36 sec, 4.01M
Miles Away clip 3 1 min 19 sec, 7.82M

I have 10 photos on my Smugmug account linked here. If you want to try Smugmug free for 14 days and get a $5 off coupon with a new account, use this referral link. Smugmug is the best place I’ve found for online photo storage.

If you want to buy any Winger material including their new Winger IV CD, and help support this blog, use this Amazon.com link. Any referral purchases from this link help me pay for this blog.

Other Links:
Kip Winger Site Official Site
Winger The Band Official Site

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February 27, 2007 - Posted by | Music

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