Well, wasn’t that just one of the most thrilling things you will ever get to see and hear in your entire life? The delectable Sebastian Bach shaking the Manning Bar in Sydney down to its very core with one of the best heavy rock/metal voices to ever grace our Earth.
It has been nearly 25 years since I saw Skid Row with Guns ‘n Roses at that legendary Eastern Creek gig. I remember the extreme chaos and mayhem mixed in with some of the wickedest music that you will ever hear from that rich rock era. Fortunately, time has not wearied this vocal behemoth as he’s still a monster vocalist. I think I’m right in guessing that I’m not the only one who feels like they’ve been steamrolled by a semi trailer today. This was just… sen-sa-tio-nal… and Sebastian’s extraordinary vocals are out of many a league.
The sold out crowd had swarmed the front entry way ahead of time, eager to get their ‘spot’ and make sure they could squeeze as much out of the performance as possible. With such loyalty and dedication from fans after a long working week, the venue was packed quickly.
We had the very impressive support band ‘Gyspy’ begin our head-banging extravaganza and then it was time for the man himself to appear after his band had already launched into Hendrix’s ‘Little Wing’ intro.. wow, it’s on! Next up it’s ‘Breakin’ Down’ and by the time anthemic ’18 And Life’ comes on, his voice is just booming and shaking the whole site; the speakers are thundering, and we’re only 3 songs in! I don’t think Manning Bar is going to be the same ever again.
Whoa.. This gig will be punishing but in a good way. I can feel the sweat starting to form along the back of my neck, as does the sweat across Sebastian’s hairline. Such are the pitfalls of enjoying long hair. The gorgeous ‘I Remember You’ was next, it’s one of the best and legendary rock ballads that just doesn’t age. I do ‘remember yesterday’ because it feels like I’m a teenager again whenever I hear that song and visualise all the Skid Row music clips that we would drool over in our youth. Sebastian’s vocals are just sublime, you can see and feel the wonder across the room as the fans soak it all in, and still being such a babe doesn’t hurt anyone’s fantasies either.
He is such a brilliant frontman, in sync with the worshipping crowd as he then belts through ‘Slave To The Grind’ and ‘Love Is A Bitch Slap’ while running across the stage, simultaneously head banging and swinging the microphone cord. We are treated to some great banter between songs as he comments how hot he is (due to the venue’s lack of air-con) more than once. We could feel his pain, as we too sweltered and gasped for air in this steam pit. But it doesn’t hold him or us back as it’s rock ‘n roll, and this is why we are here, to feel something and let all our senses run wild, simultaneously. So we all forge on together.
So many great tracks throughout the set, ‘Big Guns’, ‘Sweet Little Sister’ and ‘Pieces of Me’ were just cracking. The frenetic speed of Sebastian and the band was just insane that by the time our next song ‘Wasted Time’ began, we could finally recoup some of that expelled energy. This man just gives 200% and he’s such a musical motivator and ambassador, it was riveting to watch him play with, and mould, the malleable crowd. The honed rock ‘n’ roll instincts of a real seasoned rock performer are beautiful to observe.
Loved ‘In A Darkened Room’. Again, the vocals are just exceptional, and ‘American Metalhead’ (aka ‘Australian Metalhead’ for the night) continued the onslaught. Then it was time for another gem ‘Monkey Business’ which was infused with some wonderful ‘Tom Sawyer’ from one of my favourite bands, Rush. Being a native Canadian wasn’t lost on the crowd either as Sebastian waved a Canadian flag. There were so many highlights during the night but I did love that ‘Tom Sawyer’ moment. Getting a Rush fix is always welcome.
A great finale with ‘Youth Gone Wild’ which, of course, tore the place down, before an Aussie encore of a couple of a cappella Rose Tattoo songs and AC/DC’s ‘TNT‘. No surprise here as he informed us earlier how much he loves these 2 bands and dressed for the occasion in his AC/DC shirt. This is one of the best shows you will ever witness and, looking around at the utterly wrecked but highly ecstatic crowd, you can see why he is still selling out venues. Those speakers would have copped an absolute pounding, as we copped a hiding. A perfect rock gig.
There are many words to describe Sebastian Bach and not just when referring to his stunning vocal strength and range. ‘Rock Sex God’ will spring into mind for most, but he’s also charming, charismatic, humorous and humble. I think we’ve all been totally ‘bached’… that’s a new word I’ll just throw in there. I’m not sure if anyone has written that before but it means ‘nicely done over by the electrifying Mr Bach’. Or more accurately, pummelled like a boxing bag, but this is what rock and metal is meant to be: loud, brash, powerful and like a pleasant kick in the guts. So much natural talent and flair backed by an awesome band. Absolutely faultless, it was just so satisfying to be there and revel in the intensity. We need performers of this calibre on our annual concert calendar to make life that much more gratifying. Sebastian Bach is one of the best male rock/heavy metal vocalists you will ever hear, with some of the best songs ever written, and all I can say is I hope we have many more Bach gigs to come. Vive la Bach!
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