Event: Raiding The Rock Vault

Venue: The Tropicana, Las Vegas

Date: 18 June 2015


With the temperatures soaring over a hundred degrees, it was about to get a whole lot hotter on The Strip as we headed out to see 'Raiding The Rock Vault'.

Heading an all star line-up we had "Duke Fame" himself Paul Shortino, Robin McAuley, Andrew Freeman, Mark Bouls and Carol-Lyn Liddle handling vocals, on guitars Jason Boyleston and Christian Brady, on bass Phil Soussan, on drums Jay Schellen and last but by no means least, on keyboards Kevin Krohn.  

With this all star line-up I was really hyper and really looking forward to seeing these guys as they went through the history of rock n' roll, performed by the musicians who lived it.  

Kicking off the show we had Freeman deliver The Who’s 'My Generation', a fitting introduction as for many of the audience here tonight, this was indeed their generation of rock n' roll.  This great rock nostalgia trip continued with The Doors classic 'Light My Fire', which was the first vocal from Shortino and he did this one proud, as his trademark raspy vocals lit up the venue.

Then it was time for a little Hendrix as Dokken’s Mark Boals thundered through ‘All Along The Watchtower’, as the band played, the larger screens behind them gave us a little history of the song and/or the bands featured in the songs.

It was time for another British invasion band, this time the Rolling Stones 'Honky Tonk Woman' got the Shortino treatment, again with the great man himself more than delivering the musical goods.  

It was time for the intermission narrative of the show, as the roadie told of tales of rock n' roll out on the road before it was back to the rock as we got our first taste of Robin McAuley, who delivered on Free’s 'All Right Now’, before launching into Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway To Heaven’.

The classic rock continued, this time with Mark Boals bringing a little Deep Purple into the mix, with what else but ‘Smoke on the Water’, before the rest of the vocalist took flight with the Eagles 'Hotel California'.  By this time the audience was dancing in the aisles as the classic rock took them on a journey to by-gone days when rock was dominated by super-groups and not today’s fly-by-nights.

McAuley returned to the stage to give us a great version of Queens ‘We Are The Champions’, complete with Freddie styled short mike stand.

Boals and Shortino's rocking duet of Pink Floyd’s 'Another Brick in the Wall’ lead us up to our first taste of Liddle’s phenomenal vocals as she hit the spot big time with her version of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams’.  How have we not heard of this woman and her amazing voice before now? 

One of my favourite vocals of the night had to be Shortino’s on a stunning version of Aerosmiths ‘Dream On’, with McAuley also on stunning form with his rendition of Supertramp’s 'Breakfast in America'.  Tonight the band were rocking on all six cylinders for sure.  

The Americana rock continued with Shortino and Boals duetting on Kansas’s ‘Wayward Son’, before Shortino brought Bon Jovi’s ‘You Give Love a Bad Name’ to the masses.

Again Liddle rocked the house on Pat Benatar’s ‘Heartbreaker’, as did McAuley as he brought the ‘Eye of the Tiger’, before duetting with Freeman donning the Union Jack for Def Leppard’s ‘Pour Some Sugar on Me.

The modern classics continued with Robert Palmers ‘Addicted to Love’ by Shortino, complete with sexy backing guitarists like on the video, before Liddle continued the feelgood atmosphere as she showed her melodic side with a fantastic version of Heart's ‘Alone’.

With the set running into 120 minute territory the hot rocking continued with McAuley bring a little U2 to the mix with ‘Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’.  Believe me, this is exactly what rock fans have been looking for on The Strip.  With Doug Aldrich not being a part of the show tonight it was up to Brady to bring the Les Paul heat on Whitesnake’s ‘Here I Go Again’, on which he did an amazing job, featuring another superb vocal by Shortino.  

With the show almost at its climax it was time to turn it up a notch with the trio of Shortino, McAuley and Freeman rocking out on Foreigner’s 'Juke Box Hero', a song that really got the crowd jumping, before it was 'DC time as McAuley took us down the 'Highway the Hell'.  It was left up to Freeman to close the show with Van Halen’s 'Jump', with a guest appearance of his son Jacob on guitars.  

This rounded off a great night of feel-good rock that I won't forget in a hurry and an experience I wouldn’t hesitate to see again, the next time I’m in Vegas.  If you're a rocker like myself and are looking for the best night out on The Strip, then never mind your Ceilon’s, your Elton's and your Donny and Marie’s, get yourself down to the Tropicana and catch this show.  Who knows you too might get to meet the cast as we did, as they all came out after the show and signed merchandise and had their photo’s taken with the fans.  A friendlier bunch of folks you couldn't wish to meet.

Review by: Barry McMinn




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