Bergen Performing Arts Center in Englewood, NJ || 29 April 2016
Review by Sebastian Bjorn Benedict || Photos by Anya Svirskaya
Since the success of Tom Keifer’s first solo album, The Way Life Goes, he has been making the rounds nonstop since 2013. With his bad attitude shuffle, he has relentlessly traveled with his band showcasing not only his songs but his golden raspy voice that is loved by millions of people. His last leg of shows had been a combination of tracks from his solo album, covers, and a handful of Cinderella material. Tonight at Bergen Performing Arts Center in Englewood, New Jersey, the audience was treated with a set list that was 90% Cinderella songs. By playing much more of his back catalog, Tom Keifer has come full circle only to land on “solid ground.” Cinderella was a band that was unjustly lumped in with the “hair metal” stigma. However, as trends came and went the voice of Cinderella had laid a solid foundation with music rooted in the blues. And as you and I know, the blues is where it will always be at. Keifer opened the set with “Once Around the Ride” from the multi-platinum album Night Songs, and the venue erupted in cheers.
There were two songs from the solo record that were performed, “It’s Not Enough” and “Solid Ground,” and while the audience did appreciate “Heartbreak Station” and “Don’t Know What You Got (Til it’s Gone),” many in the crowd were wondering if “Flower Song” or “Thick And Thin” would be part of the setlist. The fact that there was a need for these songs only indicates the talent of this man’s songwriting. As the show went on the audience melted as he did a wonderful version of “Nobody’s Fool,” which was his first hit with Cinderella.
At one point in his life, Keifer battled voice paralysis, as well as personal loss, which led to depression. Once his situation was under control, songs like “Coming Home” and “Shelter Me” suddenly had new meaning which was felt by many on this night. Tom Keifer’s wife and muse, Savannah Snow, supplied some back up and piano which only makes the romantic story of his life much more intriguing.
A consummate professional and a fan of great music, Keifer performed a brilliant rendition of the classic Beatles song “With a Little Help from My Friends,” then a segue into the song “Purple Rain” by his royal badness Prince, who’s recent death was a shock within the musical community. Before ending the night Tom Keifer reminded the audience about his upcoming tour dates by going into another classic “Gypsy Road.” He ended the night with a humble thank you but not before he lets the audience in on a cover version of The Rolling Stones classic, “It’s Only Rock and Roll (But I Like It).”
To quote my favorite Cinderella song, “One for Rock and Roll” from the Heartbreak Station album “Long as I got rock and roll I’m forever young.”