Saturday June 13th the guitar legend brought his new cartel back to Dayton for another career go around. With songs spanning his time barking at the moon and committing the ultimate sin with Ozzy. He also journeyed to the badlands and played a few choice cuts from his recent release with Red Dragon Cartel. He’s played and toured with Ozzy and lived to tell about it.
Lee had a stint in Ratt’s early days along with Dio, Holy Diver era, and was selected as Ozzy’s permanent guitarist following the death of Randy Rhoads. Lee recorded Bark at the Moon and The Ultimate Sin touring on both before being unceremoniously fired by Sharon Osbourne. Lee then formed Badlands in 1988, releasing two records and a non-US live studio demo CD. He’s appeared and played on various records since.
Dayton offered up the educated/experienced guitar prowess of the Alfie Luckey band and 80’s metal enthusiasts 80 Proof. With a definitive feeling of community and shared love of metal in the air, the talent tour up the stage. Leaving only eardrums damaged but eyes impressed.
Inspired by his father, starting the guitar at the early 80’s age of 13 Luckey played by ear till he was 19. His father was his mentor and the reason he plays today striving to improve daily. His mother and grandfather helped him achieve his dream sending him to Sinclair earning an associate’s degree in classical guitar/music and graduating from the Guitar Institute of Technology in Hollywood, CA. He continues to play honoring their memories and support they bestowed. He now instructs and teaches while playing in different bands. He also had the opportunity to meet legendary guitarist Jason Becker at the Not Dead Yet 3 festival in San Francisco. He got to hang out with him the next day at his house and play for him on his signature numbers guitar.
Bassist Todd Bowman who has an odd resemblance to Steve Perry started his journey at Sinclair studying music education. He’s cut his teeth in Fighting the World, Downcycle and Firstborn.
The show began featuring the fire-red eyed femme fatale Kristine Scream on vocals and Andy Hall on drums. They opened with the adrenaline laced “Superhero” as Scream poured her leather stretched and strong lungs into the mic. Scream, a professional dancer and theatrical performer has 12 years in the biz, starting with Once Upon a Tragedy then Spires of Altum out of Richmond. She’s appeared with the Darin Moore maelstrom and currently sings in Avareous. With an upcoming solo single and forthcoming website she’s ready to bring the scream to the masses and took the stage to demonstrate.
It was a loud walk to the “Emerald City” with a ‘quick’ stop to smell the poppies. Scream showed what she’s capable of paying homage to Dio on “Man on the Silver Mountain.” “Twilight” filled the stage, thank God nothing sparkled. Scream became the iron maiden of the night, minus the deadly spikes and lethal hug on “The Trooper.”
The show ended with Luckey bringing the goods on the very personal instrumental “Missing,” dedicated to his parents. Every time he plays it’s in tribute to what their guidance and support has helped him achieve.
80 Proof came out strong as moonshine licked whisky playing some of the best iconic metal anthems of the 80’s and 90’s. Unfortunately, the originals were stashed away that night but they played the music of the gods like true ‘chosen mortals.’ From the New Wave of British Heavy Metal to the youth gone wild, to a rebellious spiked punch in the mouth from the MTV generation and some early 90’s dreamy prog. They brought the game with vocalist Tony Oliver throwing up aces high along with the horns.
The leather clad metal gods brought the always hovering “Electric Eye” to spy on the metal gathering. It was up the irons again with another battlefield stomp-age from “The Trooper.” Eddie knows how to give piece of mind. Vic Rattllehead and co gave a clinic on intelligent speed metal with thrash and the worst kept secret in “Hanger 18.” Bach and his boys will be coming to Oddbody’s soon but for that night 80 Proof shouted out we are the “Youth Gone Wild!” You can’t have a loud dose of the 80’s without some vital Idol and the sneering cradle robber gave out a “Rebel Yell.”
Tony Snowden tore up a solo before pulling us under for some theatrical dream-weaving. They finished with one last number of the beast. The bell tower chimed casting a shadow over the gallows pole. They played the song of the condemned, “Hallowed be Thy Name.”
The Red Dragon Cartel returned to the Dayton stage going back to the prince of darkness’s 80’s days, being haunted by devilish woman in red and committing “The Ultimate Sin.” The cartel got “Wasted” early in true rock and roll fashion. Unfortunately the Spinal Tap gods of technical difficulty came crashing down, messing up the drum sound for a few minutes, costing the band and audience a few cool tunes but Lee made up for it with some intense soloing and stage antics. They got loud, loaded, groovy and boozy for lost time on “Shout it Out.”
They went back to the bayou backroads of the Badlands as Lee’s guitar screeched out the scorching rays of heat on “Sun Red Sun.” It was time for another sin and a “Shot in the Dark.” That “Rumblin Train” kept racing down that well-worn metal track, shaking up those steel spikes. Lee made his guitar cry and bleed out the notes telling those well-known stories. It was feeding time as his fingers scorched the strings denying the vampirus her prize.
They sang us a sweet, sweet final song about “Dreams in the Dark” from parts unknown then looked up transfixed and transformed by the glowing illumination on “Bark at the Moon.”
Images by Mike Ritchie