Words + Photos by Brian Matus
Super-group The Winery Dogs – featuring bassist Billy Sheehan (Talas, David Lee Roth, Mr. Big), drummer Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, Avenged Sevenfold, Adrenaline Mob) and guitarist/pianist/vocalist Richie Kotzen (Poison, Mr. Big) – played to a sold-out audience at Revolution Bar & Music Hall in Amityville, NY on June 28th.
They opened with an explosive version of their first single ‘Elevate,’ followed by the slower-tempo ‘Criminal,’ which had the packed, standing room only floor dancing along to the groove. Richie Kotzen showed off his formidable guitar chops during their cover of Jimi Hendrix’ ‘Hey Joe’ before Billy Sheehan amazed the audience with a phenomenal bass solo, segueing seamlessly into the bass-oriented intro to ‘You Saved Me.’
During slower songs like ‘You Saved Me’ and ‘I’m No Angel,’ Kotzen’s voice captivated the crowd, soaring like Chris Cornell in his prime. Drummer Mike Portnoy thundered through The Winery Dogs’ heavier tracks and showed tasteful restraint during their ballads, in a seemingly effortless display of his legendary skills.
The Winery Dogs closed their set with the groovin’ ‘Desire’ before treating the audience to an encore of ‘Regret’ (with Kotzen on keyboards), followed by a blistering cover of ‘Shy Boy’ from Billy Sheehan’s band Talas.
Long Island native Mike Portnoy thanked the “Strong Island” audience for showing such strong support and assured the crowd that this was a band and not a one-off project. Judging by the crowd’s reaction, a follow-up to The Winery Dogs’s debut CD can only lead to more sold-out shows.
TheWaster.com | Long Island