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Being a concert photographer has its perks.  It also comes with a fair share of challenges that most fail to recognize.  Sure, we get up close and personal with our favorite bands for the first three, but in many cases are then rushed off to no man’s land where actually enjoying the show we are covering is challenging at best.  Fortunately for me, Saturday night’s show at Warehouse Live featuring Cinderella’s Tom Keifer was the exception to the rule.   Add in world-famous radio personality Eddie Trunk, and a great show gets catapulted to a whole new level. Let's go!

Kicking off Saturday’s show in Houston were Las Vegas natives (and rock and roll psychopaths) – the Electric Radio Kings.  A relatively new band, these guys kicked some major ass in ways I can’t begin to describe.  Their band was all rock and roll but featured an updated sound that seemed to transcend many different genres over the past 30 years.  ERK engaged the crowd from the very first note until their final bow and were the perfect fit for a Tom Keifer show.  These guys are incredible and well worth the price of admission on their own.

Now on to the main attraction, Cinderella’s Tom Keifer.  As on many occasions, I’m standing in the photo pit at Warehouse Live when I see Tom Keifer and the band making their way to the stage. The crowd goes crazy as the band huddled up for their pre-show ritual.  From the very beginning you could feel the calm before the storm that was just about to be unleashed on Houston. Even though the lights were dim you could see the confidence in Tom and his band - this was going to be good!

As of recent, Keifer seems to have a new-found energy that is literally infectious.  From the start of the show when the lights came on to the bands opening notes on “Touching the Devine”, fans in Houston could just feel it… Keifer was back and feeling better than ever.  Then just as the song came to an end, the familiar beginning of 1986’s “Night Songs” filled Warehouse Live and it was off to the races from that point forward.  After saying a few words and letting us know that “it was going to be a good night”, Keifer and company hit the gas and launched into one of my personal favs, “Coming Home”. 

Keifer’s band was firing on all cylinders and were playing like they had something to prove (not to us but to themselves).  Most that have followed Cinderella know Tom has had some vocal issues in the past (including numerous throat surgeries where he was told he might never sing again). I am here to tell you that Keifer is proving them all wrong as he sounded better that ever.  The intensity he showed throughout the entire performance was so incredible. Tom put his heart & soul into an blistering 16-song set and it paid off in spades.  Throughout the evening, the band played a lot of classics including a debut of the first single off their latest album Rise - slated to drop on Sept 13th.  “The Death of Me” was plain badassery and I cannot wait to hear the whole album in its entirety.

While Keifer’s first album outside of Cinderella was a solo album, the forthcoming album is truly a group effort and Tom noted “everyone in the band plaid a part”.  And if Saturday’s band chemistry was any indication of things to come, fans are in for a real treat as this band is legit.   I loved this show for many reasons other than the fact that I’m a huge fan of Tom Keifer. The intensity that he showed after being in this business for 35 years+ was incredible and his voice said “IM BACK” to the legions of fans in attendance on Saturday night.  Keifer & Company was better than ever and performed like a well-oiled machine - everything just clicked.  This is definitely one show you don’t want to miss!


Thomas Coffman

Photojournalist - Houston

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