A triple threat of rock of pulled into Tampa on Wednesday night to the Mid-Florida Amphitheatre! The force of rock and roll stopped nature’s force of rain just in time for the show!
Opening the show was Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience. Opening a show with Zeppelin brings the audience energy level to a 10 from the get go! Led Zeppelin’s late drummer John Bonham’s son and a great drummer in his own right, Jason Bonham is the guy to bring Zep covers to a mass audience. He grew up and played with the original three, Plant, Jones & Page on the “Celebration Day” concert in 2007. He toured with “Heart” for their Led Zep tribute and performed with them at the “Kennedy Centers Honors” for Zeppelin. Mr. Bonham has another connection with this tour as he played drums for Foreigner from 2004-2008. Opening with “Rock & Roll”, one of classic rock’s greatest anthems, the crowd was up and moving. “Black Dog”, “Ramble On” and the always timely “Immigrant Song” were on the setlist. James Dylan does a great job as lead vocalist, singing a rock god’s songs has got to be a tough gig! The band is top notch and brought it to a close with “Whole Lotta Love” which is like being in a time machine and forgetting it is 2017!
Next up was “America’s House Band” Cheap Trick, as named by Alice Cooper. Tampa Bay’s lead singer Robin Zander brings it home in style with a wide brimmed hat and light pink suit. There is the usual high jinx with wild man guitarist Rick Nielsen, his son Daxx on drums and 12-string bassist Tom Petersson. If you are a fan of Trick, you know they are big Beatles fans and “Daytripper” was on for Tampa! After 40 years, Trick is one of the few bands that keeps making new music. From their new CD, “We’re All Alright” they played a rockin’ new single “Long Time Coming”, along with the hits favorites including “The Flame”, “California Man” and encore “Dream Police” which included a guest appearance by Sarasota clown Bello Nock who is a big fan! Cheap Trick is simply one of the greatest bands in rock and roll!
This is the 40th Anniversary Tour for Foreigner! Original member Mick Jones has kept the band going through changes over the years. Lead singer Kelly Hansen has been with the band since 2005, a power voice true to the sound of Foreigner, Hansen’s moves on the stage are very Tyleresque. An interesting note – Foreigner opened for Aerosmith in May, on their recent European tour in Munich, Germany. Hansen’s energy keeps the well-oiled machine on the move. Starting out with three heavy hits in a row, “Double Vision”, “Head Games” and “Cold as Ice” the audience was singing along not missing a beat. Hansen left the stage to head out into the audience while the band continued to jam onstage, that always makes for great entertainment. Original drummer from 1976-1992, Dennis Elliot joined them onstage for the encore of “Long, Long Way from Home” and “Hot Blooded”. Of course two of their biggest tunes, “Jukebox Hero” and “I Want to Know What Love Is” brought it full circle for the 40th! One of the best rock tours of the summer!
photos by Vicky Sullivan / Rock The Lens Photography…Bello Photo Courtesy of Nina Zummo