Randy Rhoads Remembered – 5/28/2015 1150 Oak Bar and Grill in Cranston, Rhoads Island

Review by Paul Donahue Jr., Photography by Evil Robb

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Marzi Montazeri  was the perfect show opener and the crowd was treated to high energy with a great style, along with big smiles from the opening guitarist, who performed S.A.T.O., Little Dolls and Tonight.

Marzi Montezeri 2 Marzi Montazeri 1 Marzi Montezeri 3Phil X joined the Madmen next for Flyin’ High Again, Steal Away the Night and a Iron Man/ Children of the Grave mash-up called “Iron Children (as indicated on the set list) Randy didn’t write “Iron Children” but while on tour with Ozzy, who had recently departed Black Sabbath, there was an obvious demand from the fans to hear those songs. Randy played them with his own style…Phil captured that style. It was great to hear those Sabbath classics with a Randy Rhoads/Phil X touch.

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phil xChris Caffery of Savatage and Trans Siberian Orchestra plugged in next. Stephen LeBlanc started off Mr. Crowley with the keys and then Caffrey kicked it in the rest of the way with his guitar. This guy is a hell of a lot of fun to watch perform. The Randy Rhoads Remembered veteran also played Believer and You Can’t Kill Rock n Roll.

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At this point in the show, Chas West made his first appearance on vocals.

   We all know speed kills, right? Wrong! Especially if your name is Mike Orlando from The Adrenaline Mob. This guy CRANKS!

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First, he shredded through Revelation (Mother Earth) and Suicide Solution and then he slams on the brakes with an acoustic intro to Diary of a Madman that is a fusion of his own talent and Randy Rhoads. DOAM is my personal favorite song of all time and he did it great justice.

Mike Orlando 2_Tim Betts, winner of last year’s drummers contest was invited back for another go at it with the Madmen – Brian came out from behind the drums and played lead guitar for No Bone Movies with Chas West on vocals.  Fantastic.

Brian Tichy Guitar 3 Brian Tichy Guitar 1 Brian Tichy Guitar 2Gotta love Chas — the man sounds fantastic! A Robert Plant type of a front man, also the lead singer for Jake E. Lee’s Red Dragon Cartel!

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Kelle Rhoads, Randy’s big brother, took the stage for a bit. He sang Back to the Coast, which is the first song Randy ever wrote. Excelling in Abstract Classical piano, the ex-Singer reminds you of glam in the very early 80’s as he sings and dances and stomps his way around on the edge of the stage.

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Jeff Watson, lead guitarist of Night Ranger, jumped up on stage and had a great guitar duel with Mike Orlando as an intro to I Don’t Know before playing the entire song together. Chris Caffrey then joined Mike and Jeff onstage and the three performed Over the Mountain to close out the electric portion of the evening

 

The finale was an all-acoustic performance of “Dee” – a song Randy wrote about his mother, Delores.  It’s in the key of D. It’s also a beautiful classical guitar piece that could be the beginning of the direction that Randy said he was going to eventually enter. Classical Guitar…if you listen to Randy’s playing you can hear it in many of his songs. It’s what drew me in, in the beginning and what keeps me there to this day…35 years later.

The “Madmen”:

Phil Soussan plays the bass with warmth lending back-up vocals through-out the night. This is familiar territory fo Soussan, who toured with Ozzy for 4 years and wrote “Shot in the Dark” – Ozzy’s his first #1 hit in the U.S.

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Phil Soussan Phil X _Brian Tichy, also formerly of Ozzy, on the drums left people speechless.  Extremely hard hitting with some real finesse, Brian is 100% from the word “Go”. From using the gong with dynamics, going from a subtle build to the rapture of the crash cymbals, every song reminded me of John Bonham.

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Stephen LeBlanc on the keys. Mr. Crowley, Revelation (Mother Earth), intros, outros…all of the songs were given a sense of presence due to Stephen’s exceptional talent….fist-pumping and rockin out all night long.

_AAA2570Dewey Bragg, lead singer from Kill Devil Hill, performed the vocals for most of the night. The moment he stepped up front and ran the show, he appeared as if he is in the middle of a major tour with fan reaction at its best — everyone wanted to sing along with Dewey, whose vocals were spot on throughout. I really enjoyed his singing and will be buying a Kill Devil Hill CD this week.

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What a great gathering of talent and a really a great group of people – all super-cool and with the same goal in mind. I met and talked with each of them. They were all great to be around. This year was even better than last year’s show at the 1150.  The combination of talent on stage (which was among the best I’ve ever seen) and the venue itself made for a great event.

Everyone knew we were among legends, performing in memorandum of the ultimate guitar legend, Mr. Randy Rhoads.  I love this place. They recently added on to the back of the room — opening it a bit more.  But there is still an intimate feel to this venue with great food, people and a great stage and an upgraded system made it louder and clearer than last year.  The Ottaviano brothers Rick and Henry really know how to turn this couple hundred capacity venue into an arena-like atmosphere.  Lights, Sound, Action!

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Mike Tichy

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