Back From the Dead

Rock N’ Resort was a blast again this year, despite being forced to camp next to a group of what must’ve been at least 4 families, all with kids under the ages of 10 (probably 10-15 kids in all).  Yep, felt like I was running Daycare of the Damned, there were so many rugrats running through my camp.  And there’s nothing like being awoke at 7am Saturday morning, after a night of 5 quart beer buckets, to the sound of BONGO DRUMS.  That child doesn’t know how close to death he came. . .

Of the headliners this year, I was most impressed by Kansas, Dennis DeYoung of Styx and 38 Special.   Not so much by Survivor or Asia (go figure, eh?).  I’ve always wanted to check out a Kansas show and now I cannot recommend them enough.  Technically proficient, extremely talented 5 piece that have been jamming together now 35 years (most of them, anyways).  I’d heard that singer/keyboardist Steve Walsh didn’t sound as good anymore – thankfully that couldn’t be more untrue.  Steve sounded exactly like on their albums, even on difficult tracks like ‘Carry On My Wayward Son’.

38 Special I’ve seen before, knew what to expect and they didn’t disappoint.  There are precious few decent southern rock bands left from the 80’s/90’s, glad to see Don Barnes & Donnie Van Zant are still kickin’ it oldschool.  And yeah, they played all their hits plus a medley of the 90’s soundtrack songs like “Back to Paradise” off the Revenge of the Nerds II soundtrack.

Now I expected Dennis DeYoung to be well, a bit tough to sit through.  After all, the man wrote  two of the most everlasting and schmaltzy ballads on radio – ‘Lady’ & ‘Babe’.   But he also performed ‘The Best of Times’ and ‘Mr. Roboto’ which are guilty pleasures for me ’cause they remind me of high school.  DeYoung has a great backing band and sounds timeless so I was pleasantly surprised by his set (ok, and winced a few times during the ballads).

I’ll talk about some of the great tribute bands I saw over the past 3 days, but it’ll have to wait until tomorrow.  Dead tired now.  Damn kids.

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