Yes you read the title correctly. Brooklyn DOES have a shore. It’s called Coney Island rockers. While for most of my life it was cheap amusement park fun and local bars it’s just starting to get rockin. With the new Ford Amphitheater now open who better to be the first rock show at the shore than Hollywood Vampires, who were anything but dead one week ago tonight.
Now there’s so much to discuss here. So let’s go in order gang.
First off the earlier reviews of the new Ford Amphitheater bashing the venue are mostly wrong. The seating is well spaced and plenty of it. Could it have been sloped, yes, but most outdoor theaters that are considered amphitheaters aren’t sloped. Like any venue the closer you are the better your view but the two wide screens on the sides do a great job for those who want to see faces and not just figures. The sound system is very well balanced, which is often very hard to do at a venue that’s outdoors.
The complaints about the concessions are also false. While I don’t like that all the concessions are at the back of the venue (except one bar near the front) I can say they are clearly marked. I read a lot of reviews claiming they were improperly marked prior to last weeks show only to see that everything was easy to find and buy.
My only complaint is that the Ford Amphitheater needs better event staff. I credit the venue and Live Nation for hiring locals but most of the ushers and security were either 60 years old and up or barely old enough to have a job and could care less. A woman in her 60s pushed her way into the disabled seating (almost elbowing my mom) and the “security” made minimal attempt to remove them. Even gave up asking them to leave when the woman ignored them. Any other venue they would’ve been asked nice twice then pulled out. Plus a fight briefly broke out two rows in front of me that it took way too long for event staff to get to and other concert goers got the fighters seperate D because the event staff wasn’t trained or capable of doing so.
But besides the need to improve the event staff I can safely say that Ford Amphitheater is going to be a great new summer show spot and once they finish the other half, which is indoors for winter months, it’ll definitely bring more life to Coney Island.
Next order of discussion is what happened to Joe Perry, who is one-third of the Hollywood Vampires. The best way to say it is that initial reports from the media were completely wrong. I myself didn’t really know anything until I got home, as did everyone at the show. The most said during the show was that “Joe was feeling sick” by Alice Cooper after they were a few songs into the show.
If you look at the video that’s come out in the last week you clearly see Joe Perry come out from behind the drum risers and sits down on said drum riser as if he decided the sit instead of fall and then he carefully walked off behind the amps. He did not collapse ON stage DURING the performance, the show did NOT stop, and there was NO chant of “Get Well Joe” because no one knew what happened until everyone got home and read the real news the next day and not the hear say from those trying to be the hot shots.
Latest I’ve heard is that Joe Perry is doing well and is home resting. I wish him a speedy recovery so he can get back to rockin like we all know him to do.
Now with ALL that aside let’s talk about the actual show because truth be told Hollywood Vampires killed – no pun intended.
While Hollywood Vampires are essentially a tribute band that pays tribute to some of rock’s biggest legends (and drinkers) they also have a few originals. Coming out with full force playing “Raise The Dead” to get the crowd pumped and ready to go throughout the night.
It was mind blowing listening to them perform “Suffragette City” and “Rebel Rebel” by David Bowie knowing that when Joe Perry, Alice Cooper, and Johnny Depp that Bowie was still alive. Hell, hearing “Ace of Spades” for the first time live since Lemmy‘s passing also seemed out of place but only temporarily because they nailed these songs to a key. Almost felt as if Alice Cooper was channeling Lemmy from the afterworld to perform through him.
And don’t let anyone tell you that Johnny Depp is just “a pretty face” in the band. He’s as much a member as anyone and can play way better than I think many thought he could. He and Tommy Hendriksen (Alice Cooper‘s band) traded off guitar licks naturally, as if they have been doing it for years.
Of course the highlight for me was the Hollywood Vampires rendition of “Pinball Wizard” by The Who, a song I’d include in my top 10 favorite songs of all time if I ever did such a list. Their version was dead on (again no pun intended) and you can hear for yourself here.
The show ended with a great encore that featured a surprise from Ian Hunter of Mott The Hoople joining them to do the songs “Sweet Jane” and “All the Young Dudes” before closing with Alice Cooper‘s trademark closer of “Schools Out/Another Brick in the Wall”.
To say Hollywood Vampires left the crowd, and myself wanting more is an understatement. Having an all star band that has its own material and pays tribute to rock’s early days is something very unique and a great way to keep all the music alive through various generations. After all not everyone is a music junkie turned DJ like myself. I look forward to see them again live when they come through my area again and I hope it’s sooner than later.