Winger - Bristol, O2 Academy - 22nd March 2010 Print E-mail
Written by Matt Blakout   
Wednesday, 31 March 2010 06:00

wingerliveIt's been 19 years since witnessing Winger in Bristol at the Bierkeller on the 'In the Heart Of The Young' tour which is some time by any stretch. That gig was awesome, apart from Kip trying to talk my girlfriend backstage (I've since forgiven him). This was hopefully going to live up to that gig by a band in their prime.  


Opening with 'Pull Me Under' from the new Frontiers released 'Karma' they give a fantastic statement of intent. A real ripping riff and great opening stomper. I really was surprised but then I guess I shouldn't be as I expected them to open with 'Madeleine' or 'Can't Get Enough' just so everyone fells right at home straight away. I still don't understand why bands do this but there you go.


I must say the Academy is just a tiny place, a really small club. No stage as such and minimal lighting. As I wanted to get a look at Rod Morgenstien up close it was a struggle as the band weren't really elevated at all, drums were on the floor so to speak. This must have been the smallest show Reb Beach had played in a long time indeed. 'Blind Revolution Man' followed which was pretty awesome, 'EZ Come EZ Go' followed by the second track off the new cd 'Stone Cold Killer'. The new material was really well received, Kip explained he wanted to write songs between the first and third albums and I felt the new songs were more like 'Pull' than the other two, but great all the same.


Kip took to a keyboard for the first time for 'Rainbow In The Rose' the band now being a four piece instead of the one guitar and keyboard of Paul Taylor on the first two cd's. Third song off 'Karma' and the first song off the cd 'Deal With The Devil' followed by another set of classics, before this someone in the crowd shouts for another song off the new cd and Kip seems genuinely surprised and actually thanks the guy for buying the new record. 'Down Incognito' followed by a blues jam solo spot for John Roth which was entertaining. Only song from the underrated Winger 'IV' was 'Great Escape' - this cd is great but takes a few listens. It's worth checking out though.


Reb's solo was up next and this guy is simply a maestro. Absolutely incredible solo which you can't deny is why the guy plays with Whitesnake these days. I've had the pleasure of talking with Reb the few times we've played with Whitesnake and can honestly say the guy is very humble and completely genuine. We get a Rod Morgenstien solo which is Rod playing to a backing rhythm which is pretty fantastic by anybody's standards and you really understand that you're watching probably the finest bunch of rock musicians that ever played in a band together - they're so very much tuned in to each other its pretty incredible.


'You Are The Saint (I Am The sinner)', 'Heading For A Heartbreak', 'I Can't Get Enough' and 'Seventeen' rounded off the night. Great crowd appreciation got them back out for 'Miles Away' and 'Madeleine'. Absolutely awesome.


Live photo kudos to Tessa Blakout