"Super Group" is thrown around so often these days, it's a hard term to trust, but when you have a group made up of three current inductees in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame and four members who long ago should have been inducted...well dammit, that friends is a super group called Kings of Chaos.
Kings of Chaos was brought together by Matt Sorum (of Guns n Roses - Rock Hall inductee) and includes his GnR bandmates Duff McKagan (also Rock Hall inductee) and Gilby Clarke (okay...why wasn't Gilby inducted into the Rock Hall with the rest of the band?! Everyone else was including Dizzy Reed! I call some serious bullshit here but I digress) to form the core rhythm section of the group. He then brought on Steve Stevens (Billy Idol's guitarist and collaborator - who should be in the Rock Hall) for lead guitar. He just needed to fill out the band with some killer vocalists.
Kings of Chaos has a triple threat in that department. ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons (yep, already in the Rock Hall) plus Robin Zander of Cheap Trick and Glenn Hughes, most notably of Deep Purple. Don't even get me started on the fact that Trick and Purple are not in the Rock Hall!
So shit. That's a group kids.
These true rock super groups tend to tour every continent outside of North America pretty regularly during the last few years, but it's rare they make an appearance on these shores. This was no different. Kings of Chaos only did two North American shows. One in Florida the night before this and this one.
This was another of those shows I didn't expect to go to. I was selling incredibly cool stuff at the Rock n Roll Flea Market in Kingston that Saturday and thought I would be tied up until at least 5pm and even with a heavy foot on the gas pedal and no traffic, Foxwoods is still about a three hour drive, so I was going to pass.
Then about 2 days before the show, out of the blue Foxwoods emails me and says I can RSVP for a comp ticket. So I did that, but knew I would still have to play it by ear.
The concert gods once again looked over me on Saturday and I was able to hit the road right at five and hauled ass to Foxwoods. Got super lucky traffic wise and pulled into the parking garage at 7:55 (ticket said show was to start at 8).
I'm pretty sure Foxwoods is the largest casino in the United States (maybe the world) and it always seems the only parking I can find is in the lot lot where I have to literally walk through the whole casino to get to the newer section where the Grand Theater is located. I honestly think it was about a mile walk through the busy Saturday night crowd. I get there and have to get a new copy of my rewards card as I had lost my old one and you need it to pick up the ticket. Then I go to the box office and they said I never RSVP'd (I did) and eventually they print me out what ended up being an awesome seat - front row in the mezzanine. It's probably about 8:20 at this point.
As I had my ticket scanned and was walking in I could hear they were in the middle of Cheap Trick's standard concert opener "Hello There"
Not bad, I only missed half a song (although one I love).
It became immediately apparent this was going to be a hits filled night when they went right into "Surrender" followed by "I Want You to Want Me". Damn...the boys weren't playing around!
As I stated above, for most of the night, the core group on stage was Steve Stevens on lead guitar and Duff McKagan on bass.
Gilby Clarke on rhythm guitar and Matt Sorum on drums.
Overall the band was great but not really tight. It was obvious at times they did not have much rehearsal. So sure, there were some missed lyrics here, some wrong notes there, but overall it was fantastic. I think these two small shows in the US (I think the Grand Theater only holds about 2500 - and it was very close to full with a very energetic totally into it crowd) were basically their rehearsals before they head out on the real tour where they will be playing to very large audiences. I'll take the warts and all show to get to see this lineup!
After the opening salvo of Cheap Trick songs, Robin introduced the mighty Glenn Hughes before leaving the stage. It was time for a double shot of Deep Purple starting with "Highway Star" and then going into a massive crowd singalong for "Smoke on The Water."
Leaving the stage with the crowd on their feet, Glenn introduced Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top. Now ZZ Top easily have at least 10 HUGE radio hits and it seems like that was what this show was all about, so it cooled the crowd down quite a bit when the first two songs Billy played were the two slow blues openers of ZZ Top's third album "Tres Hombres" - first "Waitin' for the Bus" and then "Jesus Just Left Chicago"
The general consensus was Cheap Sunglasses, Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers, Sleeping Bag, Gimme All Your Lovin or any of the other hit songs would have been perhaps been a better choice, but hell, I'm no Billy Gibbons and it's a minor observation not even complaint.
I will say Billy never lost the crowd though, I think one more deep cut might have done it, but instead Billy said they were going to go back, way back for the next one and he started playing the instantly recognizable opening riff to Jimi Hendrix's "Foxy Lady"
The Hendrix cover went right into ZZ Top's "La Grange." Yep, now Billy had the crowd in the palm of his hand!
When the crowd calmed down after "La Grange" Billy said he was going to bring out Glenn to help with a tribute to B.B. King who had passed away the previous day. Glenn's vocals on King's "The Thrill Is Gone" were outstanding.
Glenn and Billy then left the stage and Gilby took on lead vocals. He said this song was also for B.B. and asked the crowd to sing along which they did quite loudly on the Guns n Roses version of Bob Dylan's "Knockin on Heaven's Door"
Robin Zander then came back out to join the band for GnR's "Mr. Brownstone"
Robin stayed on stage to do vocals on the Billy Idol classic "Rebel Yell"
and then another Cheap Trick classic "Dream Police"
Robin then left bringing Glenn back out for an amazing take on Deep Purple's "Burn"
Glenn then tagged Billy back in to end the main set with ZZ Top's "Sharp Dressed Man" followed by "Tush" (with Robin on lead vocals on the latter)
After a very short encore break, everyone came back out on stage and Matt Sorum introduced the band members
They then did a killer version of Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" and ended the night with Guns n Roses' "Paradise City."
It was a solid two hour rock fest and I hope the crowd reaction to this show lets them know there is an audience for this in America.
Click on any of the photos to super size view them. If you dug this please go click like on the Most People Are Blank Facebook page to follow, comment and be kept up to date on any contests. As always Rock on and Enjoy! - Paul