Written by Rayanna Barker
Sep 01, 2008 at 12:00 PM
(Day 3)

Where Astroworld once stood this past week was a metal monument, Woodstock on Aqua Net if you will.  With camp grounds, rv parking, vendor villiage, carnival area, and drive in movie screen set up, there was something for everyone.  The festival started Friday but much to our dismay my husband’s grandmother passed away on Friday so I was unable to attend the first 2 days of the festival.  I did make it on out on Sunday and Monday for what I consider a pretty epic weekend.

We started around noon on Sunday and got there in time for Lillian Axe, even thou this is a pretty new lineup of the band with veteran axeman Steve Blaze at the helm the set was great.  Derrick LeFevre sounded amazing and his voice bears an uncanny resemblance past singer Ron Taylor. Everyone I talked to had nothing but good things to say about Lillian Axe, hopefully they will come back through here soon and get a little more set time.  I know I will be looking forward to it.

Dangerous Toys was up next, now I really didn’t know what to expect because I was never a DT fan but all and all they had a solid set. I only stayed for part of it thou, until they played Scared, they were doing press with Lillian Axe backstage and you have to pick and choose where you are going to be. But what I did get a chance to see was good.

After wrapping up backstage I rushed back out to shoot L.A. Guns, now I know that there is alot of “this version” and “that version” that goes around but after seeing them Sunday, I am convinced there is only ONE L.A. Guns and it includes Tracii Guns. Who I might add was nice enough to take my camera and take a picture of the set list for me. They had an incredible set, Marty Casey is singing for the band now, he was on that show Rockstar INXS, he made it almost the whole way through the season finishing second, to that I say their loss is our gain because they kicked ass!

With Tracii Guns, Marty Casey, Tracii’s son Jeremy Guns, Alec Bauer, and Chad Stewart this seems like a soild lineup that I sure hope will be around for a while. The set list included No Mercy, This Town, You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Trees, and Shut The Fuck Up which Jeremy Guns sang, just to name a few. Awesome set!  One of the highlights of the day for sure.

Slaughter played after LA Guns, In my opinion it seemed a little mailed in, it was fun to watch but Mark Slaughter didn’t really seem overly into it.  Kinda disappointing on the whole. Nice guy thou.

Yngwie Malmsteen was SICK.  I have never heard anyone play guitar like this before ever.  This was his only US stop on his tour, and his performance alone was worth the price of admission for the day.

Warrant on the other hand was a HUGE disappointment for me.  I have been a Warrant fan from the beginning but this show was enough to test your loyalties.  When you think Warrant you think Jani Lane, but god what a fucking mess.  They should really get this guy some help.  I really don’t know why the band puts up with his shit.  The band by the way rocked, although you could see the disgust in Eric Turner’s face every time he glaced over at Lane. Jani was forgetting words, mixing up verses, and kept saying “Cherry Pie” I guess he knew that was his last song and he was hurrying through the set.

There was great crowd partisipation for most songs but that could have been the greater good at work, drowning him out while still being able to hear the band seemed to be the way to go. After calling for it a time or two, the band finally went into Cherry Pie, he managed to even forget the words to that.  Amazing…Just my opinion, but he must have really something big on these guys to have them take him back, cut your loses and move on guys, Warrant could still be a great band.

There are always those shows that you hear about but can never seem to experience, ya know the ones that have everything,..Alice Cooper is that show and I was finally in the right place at the right time.  Cooper is on top of his game for sure.. with a great set list in place, an amazing backing band and theatrics featuring his daughter Calico it was an EPIC show.  He opened with It’s Hot Tonight, and did about 14 songs, including No More Mister Nice Guy, I’m Eighteen, and Dirty Diamonds before taking a short break while guitarists Jason Hook, and Keri Kelli, joined drummer Jimmy DeGrasso in a jam session with all three playing drums. Cooper reappeared after the solo in a new outfit throwing around a limp woman dressed in rags during Welcome To My Nightmare the woman, played by Calico, seemed to come to life and begin spurting blood, as they played Only Women Bleed. There was a vampire baby in a carriage, a straight jacket, and the hanging of Alice Cooper, it was fucking AMAZING…and he still wasn’t done, he came back in a white suit to do School’s Out before his encore of Billion Dollar Babies and Elected…26 songs and 2 hours later I finally exhaled and was able to breath again.

Image(Day 4)

Monday started off for me with Jackyl, I decided to make time for this band strickly on the fact that frontman, Jesse DuPree, plays a song on a chainsaw, and is known for getting naked on stage… I mean really who with a radio in the 90’s doesn’t know the lumberjack song?  And the man did Playgirl but agreed only to do so if they would do the shoot of him naked live at a show in front of 5000 people…That my friends is Rock n Roll!!

As the set started I found myself completely drawn in by these guys, they sounded great, they looked amazing, and they really seemed to be having fun with what they were doing. Only really knowing a few of their songs, Down On Me, which the crowd really got into, The Lumberjack song which was amazing even thou he had trouble keeping the chain saw going, and When Will It Rain, I totally enjoyed the whole set and it really seemed to fly by.  They left me wanting more and I have been bumping around singing Down on Me and She Loves My Cock in my head ever since. This band is actually in the Guinness Book of World Records as the “The Hardest Working Band in Rock ‘N’ Roll” for performing 100 shows in 50 days as well as 21 shows in 24 hours…CRAZY! I personally have been converted to a Jackyl fan and can’t wait to see them again…

I was super excited about seeing Twisted Sister, all five original members, their first show this year, and their first show in Houston since 1986. They were there in full force and they did not disappoint.  To quote Dee Snider from an interview I read, “You have to give them what they remember, not what you want them to think you are now” and that is just what they did, gave us what we remembered.  Big wigs, bright make up and costumes, they came out and played about an hour and a half.  It was great.  They played Were Not Going To Take It about 4 songs in so as Dee put it, all the “lame fucks” can hear the one song they want to hear and they can leave so the real hardcore fans can have the rest of the show without the “pussies” hanging around. They put on a great show, it was lots of fun and I sure hope they don’t wait 22 years to come back again.

The last act of Rock The Bayou was Bret Micheals.  I have seen Poison a handful of times so seeing Bret without the rest of the band to me is like a vibrator with no batteries.  Sure it will keep you occupied BUT, it’s only half as good as it could be. And when did Bret become a tv star and stop trying to be a rock star??  Last time I checked he was muscian first, does he not get enough bleached blonde groupie tang on the road? Is he so hard to please that he really needs 3 seasons to find a girl to spend time with?? Or is he that much of an ass that no woman will stick around? I have so many questions! I know I know…review the set…well let’s see…He did all the staples from a Poison show, Talk Dirty To Me, Look what the Cat Dragged In, Every Rose, Unskinny Bop, Fallen Angel, to covers like Sweet Home Alambama, Knocking on Heaven’s Door, and What I like About You, as well as a couple solo songs and Something to Believe In as a Labor Day salute to the troops.
It was a set, nothing new, he sticks to the script, it wasn’t a bad set, just wasn’t anything new either.  If you are someone who comes to town at least once a year you owe it to your fans to at least change things up a little.  Maybe it’s just a pay day now, can’t see why else so little effort would go into something. I am sure if he came to town again I would go and see him, being the devoted fan I am, but I do think a overhaul is in order. He closed the set with Nothing But A Good Time.

Overall I believe that Rock They Bayou was a huge success.  It was well organized, they got great talent, it was an amazing line up, and there was really something for you to do at all times. I really hope they bring it back next year, we need more festivals.  Nothing brings people together like music.