CD Review

The Dead Daisies ‘Rise Up’ Again At The Highline

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The Dead Daisies ‘Rise Up’ Again At The Highline
The Dead Daisies (Photo: Tina Benitez-Eves)

It’s been exactly one year since The Dead Daisies last played the Highline Ballroom in New York City. And although it would have been difficult to believe at the time, the talented supergroup has become even tighter than they were during their last visit to the Big Apple.

Led by the powerful throaty vocals of one-time Motley Crue singer John Corabi, the band’s set on Tuesday, August 28, consisted of a healthy mix of cuts from their last three albums along with several popular covers strategically sprinkled in. The result was a blistering, high-octane assault on the senses from five individuals who, on their own, are accomplished performers, but as a unit, are simply stellar.

John Corabi (Photo: Tina Benitez-Eves)

Together for only five years, the group has nonetheless seen its share of lineup changes in its relatively brief existence. The most recent one, occurring a few months after the band’s last New York trek, saw the addition of ex-Journey drummer Deen Castronovo into the fold. And while filling the shoes of a seasoned veteran like Brian Tichy was no simple task, Castronovo has excelled in every manner possible.

His synchronicity with rhythm section partner Marco Mendoza was seamless as the duo effortlessly kept the beat on blazing tracks like opener “Resurrected,” “Dead And Gone,” and “Rise Up,” all off the quintet’s latest disc, the appropriately-titled Burn It Down. Mendoza is a beast on the bass with a stage presence befitting a frontman. His charisma is unmistakable and his obvious unadulterated enjoyment of performing was clearly on display as he treaded among his bandmates.

Dead Daisies guitarist Doug Aldrich (l) and drummer Deen Castronovo (Photo: Tina Benitez-Eves)

Lead guitarist Doug Aldrich’s virtuoso-like axe skills shined on the rousing title track to 2016’s Make Some Noise as well as the groove-laden “Mexico,” a standout number with a retro vibe from the group’s second studio record, Revolucion. As for band founder and rhythm guitarist David Lowy, his understated demeanor is by no means a reflection of his playing style as he operated with an unbridled ferocity on the frenetic “Leave Me Alone,” in which he flawlessly traded off parts with Aldrich.

As with every Dead Daisies show, while the original songs formed the backbone of the evening, the cover tunes were a huge crowd pleaser as well. Their version of the Creedence Clearwater Revival classic “Fortunate Son” was injected with a welcomed muscular dose of pure metal and “Bitch,” the funky 1971 Rolling Stones cut received similar treatment. But perhaps most fun were the rapid fire snippets of various tracks tackled by each member, spanning “Highway To Hell,” “The Boys Are Back In Town,” “Rock and Roll All Nite,” “Smoke on the Water,” and finally, the monstrous “Heaven and Hell.”

Marco Mendoza (Photo: Joe Puccio)

Hookers & BLOW, the playfully-named outfit formed by Guns N’ Roses keyboardist – and former Dead Daisy – Dizzy Reed and Quiet Riot guitarist Alex Grossi, served as the night’s appetizer. Primarily revving the audience up with established GNR songs, their contributions also included the seminal David Bowie masterpiece “Ziggy Stardust,” in addition to the Mott the Hoople-sounding, raucous Reed original, “This Don’t Look Like Vegas.”

Hookers & BLOW’s Dizzy Reed (Photo: Tina Benitez-Eves)

And in a treat for the hundreds in attendance, Reed pulled double duty and joined his ex-bandmates for the Daisies’ encore, a one-two punch in the gut of the obscure “Midnight Moses” promptly followed by a spirited rendition of The Beatles’ “Helter Skelter.”

Click here for The Dead Daisies’ tour dates.

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