Albuquerque

Jackyl, Vince Neil, Tesla and Skid Row. That should have been the lineup order for the Rock Never Stops tour that invaded Sandia Casino Sunday night.

The hot desert sun was still shining brightly when heavy-metal rockers Skid Row took the stage promptly at 6 p.m., playing a punked-out version of their classic hit “I Remember You.”

Much to the fans’ amazement, the hair-band ’80s look of original members Rachel Bolan, Dave “The Snake” Sabo and Scotti Hill was replaced with updated rock-star styles.

Although leather remains a vital key to performance attire, the expression of individuality is a must in 2002. Want proof? Blue highlights sparkled in Snake’s layered cut while Rachel worked the crowd with pink spiked hair.

The Skids stole the show and that’s without the larger-than-life Sebastian Bach. The addition of lead singer Johnny Solinger proved to be a winning combination. With his friendly, down-home Texas banter and raw, unrelenting voice, this blonde haired rock-star epitomized the best of both worlds.

The crowd couldn’t get enough of Skid Row, which played a mixture of fan favorites from “18 and Life” to “Monkey Business” to “Youth Gone Wild.”

By far the sweetest moment of Skid Row’s set was at the very end, when the five friends gave fans the most beautiful rendition of “Remember Me.”

As dark storm clouds moved in over Sandia Casino, Solinger, decked out in a red sleeveless shirt, black leather pants and a white cowboy hat, warned fans to look out for the worst rain!

His predication came true when, minutes after Skid Row left the stage, buckets of water came pouring from the sky. Fans ran for shelter, but many decided to hang out and wait for the show to resume.

Everyone in sight was drenched from head to toe. Imagine a stadium full of die-hard heavy metal fans wearing soggy jeans, T-shirts and those flattened, teased hair-dos.

An hour after the rain started, loyal fans flocked to their seats to catch Jackyl and the legendary Jessie James Dupree. His exuberant performance made concertgoers forget about their wet clothes and reminded them why they were really there to rock! “When Will It Rain” was an appropriate song as the crowd tried to dry off by dancing the night away.

Jackyl’s Southern, hillbilly-rock mix proved forceful with songs such as “Lumberjack” and “I Stand Alone.”

As the night progressed and the sun set, the fan base appeared to increase with the mention of Vince Neil’s name. When the former Motley Crüe frontman stepped on stage, the crowd went wild.

From “Girls, Girls, Girls” and “Same Old Situation” to “Dr. Feelgood,” Neil dazzled the ladies with his patented sex appeal. To everyone’s delight, the final number of his set of just seven songs was “Home Sweet Home.”

Although Neil wasn’t as energetic as in the old days, his latest performance in Albuquerque proved memorable.

The band most people came to see wasn’t the most flashy or famous they were simply Tesla. The 90-minute set delivered a multitude of medleys, including “Signs” and “Love Song.”

It was an amazing sight to behold thousands of fans singing along with lead singer Jeff Keith.

The music rocked the house until midnight, when the band concluded the show with a new tune memorializing the aftermath of Sept. 11 from their upcoming record, due out next year.

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Jennifer Harmon

Clara Garcia is the editor and publisher of the Valencia County News-Bulletin.
She is a native of the city of Belen, beginning her journalism career at the News-Bulletin in 1998 as the crime and courts reporter. During her time at the paper, Clara has won numerous awards for her writing, photography and typography and design both from the National Newspaper Association and the New Mexico Press Association.