Now some 20 years removed from the days of mega MTV hits, former Cinderella front man Tom Keifer is riding high with his critically acclaimed debut solo release The Way Life Goes. Over a decade in the making, the 2013 release showcases Keifer’s knack for the gritty rock and soulful ballads that helped Cinderella stand out from many of their 80s contemporaries.
With his second Wisconsin stop of 2015, Keifer brought some good old bluesy rock to the historic Meyer Theater, a beautifully restored vaudeville house from the 1930s, in downtown Green Bay.
In a 17 song set that was almost equally split between solo material and Cinderella hits, the singer / guitarist led his band through a loud, high energy performance that left both him and the several hundred in attendance sweaty and exhausted by its conclusion.
Bringing the crowd to their feet with the rocking fan favorite “Bad Seamstress Blues” from Cinderella’s multi-platinum Long Cold Winter, the band was also quick to showcase some new material with the up tempo rocker “It’s Not Enough” and the inspirational “ A Different Light.”
After a few more high-octane rockers from the past, Tom was joined center stage by his songwriting / producing partner, back up singer and wife Savannah Snow for stripped down acoustic renditions of “The Way Life Goes,” “Ask Me Yesterday,” and the smash 80’s ballad “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone).”
The brief acoustic interlude behind them, things cranked back up with a few more rockers, both new and old, including the break out hit “Nobody’s Fool” from Cinderella’s debut, 1986’s Night Songs, to close out the main set.
Returning to the stage for the obligatory encore Keifer let loose with the swagger, channelling some of his inner Mick Jagger into a cover of The Rolling Sones classic “It’s Only Rock N Roll (But I Like It)” as well as a gut-wrenching version of the The Beatles by way of Joe Cocker “With A Little Help From My Friends,” delivered in part on his knees, singing directly to the assembled fans at the foot of the stage.
Throughout the evening Keifer had addressed the audience with repeated thanks for 30 years of support, some of the stories behind the songs, and of course stopping to take a nightly video of the crowd for his Instagram account. The predominately middle-aged crowd was in turn on their feet responding well to the new material and enthusiastically reliving some of their formative years along with Keifer.
Tom and band will be playing across Europe during the month of October before returning to the US for a run of shows in early November. Head over to tomkeifer.com for dates and ticket info.
Article and photos by Dave Burke for 10 Wire Up. ©2015 Dave Burke, all rights reserved.
“I’m obsessed with music – it’s a huge part of who I am. Some of my earliest memories are of my parents’ records. In addition to music, the best bands always had great imagery to go with it. It’s the combination of those that led me to concert photography. “My goal is to not only bring myself closer to the music I love but to share it and hopefully inspire others the way I’ve been inspired.” –Dave Burke, 2015