Concert review: There is definitely life after Josey and Saliva proves it at Grizzly Rock
Posted on September 19, 2012
Gasp! Pssstttt……Did you hear? Saliva has a new singer! You don’t want to see them? Why wouldn’t you? I know, I know…..You think without Josey it’s not really Saliva. Well, your loss then!
A singer does not always a band make. Sometimes it’s equal parts band and singer, although the actions of the singer usually determine the people’s view of the band. But what if a band replaced the vocalist with another that was just as good in voice and live performance? Then there would be no reason not to go see them live, just as there was no reason for people not to see Saliva Saturday night at Grizzly Rock. To be honest they put on a great show. And I’ll tell you about their live performance in just a bit but first I need to give mention to the opening band October Rage.
Before the Saliva show I had never heard of these rockin’ Aussie boys before, I just knew they were the opening band.
At the beginning of their set I was joking about how they were a super group because the singer has a passing resemblance to Nicholas Cage with dreads, the lead guitarist looks somewhat like Daughtry, and the drummer kind of looks like an 80’s era Vince Neil with a moustache. But joking aside, these guys tore it up.
There was not a whole lot of people at Grizzly Rock when these guys started their set, and as is usually the case, not a lot of people means almost no one is on the floor near the stage, save one or two people. But these guys put out such good music and had such great stage presence that people were drawn towards the stage like moths to a flame and with each passing song the cheers got louder and louder, and by the time they were done there were quite a few people on the floor clapping, whistling, and cheering.
I don’t know the names of all their songs but I can tell you they played a killer rendition of Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight” and that the last song of their set was called “Ring Of Fire." No, Ring Of Fire was not a Johnny Cash cover. It was their own song, with their own music, and their own lyrics….and it was a spectacular tune. Everything about this band screams success. The stage presence is definitely there but so is the musicianship. The drummer wales on the drums, the bassist kicks major ass, the singer can sing and play fantastic guitar and the lead guitarist is probably one of the best I have ever seen live. I mean this “Daughtry” looking dude can shred.
I was pleasantly surprised by October Rage and you can be sure I will be checking their album out very soon. Like, right after I get done writing this review. And if you get the chance to check these guys out I highly suggest you do too.
Okay, now that I got that off my chest……back to Saliva!
As I was saying, if you didn’t go to the Saliva show because they have a different singer you missed out. Bobby Amaru sounds every bit as good as Josey did and there is a definite familiarity between their voices on the older songs, but on the new tunes they played he had his own voice. Besides, Josey has moved on and Bobby is the new singer. Give the kid a chance…..he’s damn good.
As I explained earlier, the crowd was not exceptionally large at the time October Rage was barreling through their set and I was a little dismayed that more people weren’t there to see a band like Saliva in a fairly intimate setting. But a short time before Saliva took the stage the crowd had grown exponentially and were eagerly awaiting Saliva’s appearance. Finally Saliva hit the stage to a vigorous round of applause and cheers, and lit into a fast paced, rockin’ set.
Bobby has only been with the band since January but he hit the stage with Saliva like he had always belonged there. His charisma, voice and bold attitude convinced me that he was indeed the right choice to fill Josey’s shoes. The growing crowd obviously agreed because from the get go Bobby had the crowd chanting “Hell yeah, fuck work!” And when they actually lit into their set everyone on the floor went right along with the flow. There were people jumping up and down, grooving and singing along with the band.
As far as the band goes……they really impressed me. I was there willing to give them a chance with the new singer but they totally blew me away, even with a different singer and only Wayne Swinny on guitar they sounded great.
Of course there is a certain camaraderie between Wayne, bassist Dave Novotny and drummer Paul Crosby because they have played so long together but it was surprising to see how well Bobby fit into that fold.
Bobby is a mad man on stage. He never stood in one place for very long and circled the stage like a predatory shark ready to strike before coming back to stand at the front monitor and belt out the lyrics to whatever song he was singing. And belt he did! He sang all the old favorites to a T encouraging the crowd to do the same as he held the mic high over the crowd. Almost everyone on the floor yelled out the chorus to “Click Click Boom” and “Ladies and Gentlemen” because those two songs are their most popular, but there were a lot of people that sang to a lot of the other stuff like “Burn It Up” that is not as well known. Between every few songs Bobby would get the Crowd chanting “Hell yeah, fuck work” again before lighting into another few songs.
There was a reason Bobby had everybody scream “Hell yeah” every so often but it didn’t become apparent until the end of their set. That’s when Saliva decided to play their brand new single “All Around The World” which of course has “Hell Yeah” in the chorus. All Around The World is probably one of the better songs I’ve heard Saliva play. The guitar is nice and chunky and there is a subtle groove to the bass that makes you want to bounce your head a bit. The chorus is also catchy as hell but was made even better with the band singing their parts into the mic while the crowd yelled out the obligatory “Hell Yeah” in all the right parts.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record I need to say this again…….if you didn’t go because of the whole Josey thing you missed out. Everything in their set that night was spot on and sounded great, and Bobby brings a new vibe and freshness to the band that wasn’t there last year.
If you liked Saliva last year or the year before it’s almost a guarantee you’ll like them just as well if not more now. So give them a chance! They just started their tour so it’s possible that they may be hitting a city near you soon.
Saliva with new lead singer Bobby Amaru on stage at the Grizzly rock.
Photo by Paul Edmisson
Australian band October Rage. Photo by Paul Edmisson
Saliva guitarist Wayne Swinny.
Photo by Paul Edmisson
All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.com
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