Fueled by endless supplies of cheap beer and 80’s nostalgia, a crowd of around 2,500 filed into the Ozarks Amphitheater on a glorious summer night in Missouri in hopes of a fist-pumping night of rock hits which would be served up willingly on this evening.
What: Dokken, Warrant and Firehouse Concert
Where: The Ozarks Amphitheater, Camdenton, MO
Attendance: 2,500 (approx.)
Firehouse would take the stage first and did their part to warm up the late arriving crowd. Singer C.J. Snare’s voice is still in unbelievable shape and the band were in top form cranking out such hits as “Overnight Sensation,” “Reach For the Sky,” and “All She Wrote.” The 1,000 or so people that were already in their seats showed their appreciation as the band continued to crank out its brand of 80’s influenced arena rock hits.
The band were in top form throughout its 50 minute set and the sun-drenched crowd sang and swayed along to some of the bands big-hit ballads like “Love of a Lifetime,” but it was the pounding rock hits like “Rock on the Radio” and “Shake and Tumble” that more properly signify what Firehouse is about.
The heroes of the night came in the form of 80’s rock stalwarts Warrant, who effortlessly ran through a near-perfect string of nostalgic hits as the crowd settled in for the evening . Singer Robert Mason is a tremendous frontman who combines delightful stage moves with an impeccable vocal presence that does great justice to songs that were mostly written by deceased former lead singer Jani Lane who passed away in 2011.
“The 80’s were a great time for our style of music,” Warrant rythym guitarist Erik Turner said during an interview with Music Mania two weeks before the concert. “Now all those fans want to come out and they still enjoy that music. They bring their kids, their friends…We just feel really lucky to still be able to go out there and play for thousands of people all over the country.”
The band (including Turner and the four surviving original members) sounded crisp from beginning to end as the crowd happily sang along to hits such as “Mr. Rainmaker,” “Down Boys,” and yes, even tender ballads like “Heaven,” and “Sometimes She Cries” which were perfectly placed throughout the 12-song set. Warrant is a band that left me (as well as many in attendance) wanting more especially as Robert Mason continues to be such a force both vocally and as a frontman.
The evening’s headliner, Dokken, took the stage to a furious rendition of “Kiss of Death” while many lubricated audience members began to make their was as close to the stage as security would allow to fist pump and play air guitar with one of the pioneers of the 80’s rock scene.
Singer Don Dokken’s voice was very low in the mix, but he deserves credit for knowing his limitations and singing in a lower key. Drummer Mick Brown is the only other original member of the band but his hard-hitting style was a huge highlight. Guitarist John Levin will never be mistaken for infamous shredder George Lynch, but he fills in admirably although doesn’t appear to add much of his own flare to the solos.
The sound in general was a bit muddy during Dokken’s set but no one in the crowd seemed to mind as they head-banged along to a very up-tempo string of songs including “Dream Warrios,” “Breaking the Chains,” and “Just Got Lucky.” The ballad “Alone Again” would be the only softie of the night for Dokken and Don was clearly very appreciative of the crowds retractions throughout the night. It was during “Into the Fire,” however that Don’s microphone began cutting out, which erased the smile from his face as he searched for the possible culprit off-stage.
All in all, Dokken were worthy of their headliner status on this night and capped off a tremendous night of nostalgic rock inside the Ozarks Amphitheater, which is more than a quality venue.