Rock N’ Resort 2009 Part II

In my last post I talked about the headliners at this year’s Rock N’ Resort music festival up in Canal Fulton, Ohio.   Out of about 40 bands for the weekend, the VAST majority are tribute acts.  Makes sense when you think about it ’cause you can fill up a classic rock stage list with acts that you either can’t afford (AC/DC) or who no longer tour (Jimi Hendrix).  Plus the crowd will know the songs, or at least they should.

Three significant acts I saw this weekend are Ball & Chain, Thunderstuck and Stranglehold.  Keep in mind, I usually don’t care much for tribute acts as I’d rather see either the real thing or hear originals.  Just my preference.  But each of these bands stood above the rest for one reason or another.  Here’s the breakdown;

Stranglehold – Ok, truthfully, didn’t actually get to hear these guys as we arrived too late on Friday but did spend a few minutes with drummer Frankie Garisto (ex-The Godz/American Dog) on Saturday.  According to Frankie, guitarist/vocalist Ronnie Hughes is a former guitar tech for the Motor City madman himself, and even sports some previously owned Nuge gear as part of the act.  Who better to do a tribute to Uncle Ted than someone who’s had to set up his equipment a few 100 times?  I’ll make sure to hear these guys when next they’re in C-bus.

Thunderstruck – These guys opened with “Hell’s Bell’s” and I watched the crowd rush to gather around them as if Angus himself was prancing the stage.  All in all, they had a pretty decent resemblance to the real AC/DC but whoa, it was their ability to reproduce the songs that blew me away (and everyone else, for that matter).   For about 5 minutes at the end of their set, I thought we were in for a riot as the crowd demanded ‘One more, ONE MORE!’ but were denied by the venue management.  How often does a tribute band get that kind of respect?

Last but certainly not least was Ball & Chain, a masterful tribute to the work of Janis Joplin. They didn’t look so much like Big Brother & The Holding Co. as they freakin’ SOUNDED exactly like them. I mean, “close your eyes and you’re there” sound like them.  Vocalist Geri Ciacchi needs an exorcist ’cause she’s possessed by all that is Janis Joplin.  No wait, scratch that & hide the holy water – we all benefit from the spirit of Pearl still being amongst us.  Haven’t had ‘Mercedes Benz’ outta my head since I saw their show.

That, and the distant sound of bongos. . .

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