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Non-Prog Concert Reviews

The Winery Dogs

Live in St Charles, Illinois, October 2015

Review by Greg Olma

The Winery Dogs have been tagged with the label of “super-group,” and while I agree that they deserve that lofty title, they are more than that.  Often, musicians who are considered the top players of their instruments manage to create music that other musicians can appreciate but leaves many of us non-musos out in the cold.  The Winery Dogs manage to not only show off their musical prowess but they also create catchy, melodic, and just plain great rock music.  To prove their point, they released another album of tunes and proceeded to “tread the boards” of America.  On stage is where these guys shine (not that their recorded output is lacking).  

The word must be getting out about The Winery Dogs because the Arcada Theater was really crowded for this, their second tour of the Chicago-land area (and the second time at the same venue).  The band kicked things off with a couple of new tunes “Oblivion” and “Captain Love” off new disc Hot Streak.  Since the release of this second CD, the show did not consist of cover tunes or songs from their musical pasts.  The concert only contained songs from their two records, which was fine by me (and the fans in attendance).  Since this was a tour to promote Hot Streak, they dedicated half their set to that material like “Empire,” “Ghost Town” and the title track.  The first half of the show was more weighted toward the new disc, and the later part of the set featured tracks from their self-titled release.  Tracks like “Elevate,” “Time Machine” and “Regret” sounded better in person and, like I mentioned earlier, the stage is where this band shines. 

Greg Olma
Greg Olma
Greg Olma

While the songs were the stars of the show, each member was given his spotlight.  Billy Sheehan proved that bass solos don’t have to be boring, and Mike Portnoy not only bashed the heck out of his kit, he brought out a little Hello Kitty toy set that he proceeded to put through its paces.  I’ve been a fan of Richie Kotzen from his days as a shredder but now he has matured into quite the singer/songwriter.  He possesses a very soulful voice that is a cross between Chris Cornell and David Coverdale.  This is my second time seeing The Winery Dogs, and this show was better that the previous time, which I thought would be hard to beat.  Each member has a number of other projects, but I hope they make the time to keep this thing going.  The Winery Dogs is too good to not make a priority.

Greg Olma
Greg Olma
Greg Olma
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 6 at
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