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On stage: Chris Holmes

- Chris Holmes, Keri Kelli & Moscow Rock City - June 2010 - Moscow (RUS) -

- Chris Holmes, Keri Kelli & Moscow Rock City -
- June 11th 2010 – Moscow (Russia), Jimi Club -

Some small concerts sometimes worth the big ones. Two great guitarists came to Moscow to play in a small Jimi Club – a restaurant-like venue with maximal capacity not more than 300 persons. In spite of very democratic ticket price (about 18 EUR) there were not more than 100 visitors at this concert, which brought a very specific 'home' atmosphere of the show. You could sit at the table and drink cold beer (me and my friends did it during support bands performances), or you could stand just in front of the stage and see the bands from 1 meter distance. So we did it during the main performance. Sometimes we even needed to keep our hands with 'horns' slightly backwards to do not kick the players.
The main intrigue of the show was the line-up of musicians, with which Chris Holmes and Keri Kelli will perform. It was not announced before. It was said in official press-release that Holmes and Kelli will perform the hits of W.A.S.P. and Alice Cooper. But you need a band for it, isn't it?
Well, there were 3 support Russian bands. I don't remember the name of the first (something like Vendetta, or maybe Viandetta). The band of school party level. The only thing that I remembered from their show was the cover-versions of some pop-songs in metal style. When their leader announced that the next song is from their 'new maxi-single', it really made me laugh. The second band was Saturday, The 14th and they were quite good. Very cheerful heavy metal – it's what you wait from the support band.
The third band was a catastrophe. I know, that Idol is a kind of cult band (or shock-rock band, as they call themselves). Vocalist has an image of Dee Snider performing in a gay-club – studded leather string pants, handcuffs and a whip at the belt, some make-up and tattoos at the face and a lot of conceit. Absolutely bald guitarist headbanged like if he would has a hair to bang, that was really funny. Some song titles I remember were Pornstar, You're My Fetish and I Fucked Marilyn Monroe. The general impression – just stupidity, nothing shocking rocking.
After a short break the main act started. I understood who will be the other musicians as soon as I saw my friend Pavel and his band Moscow Rock City on stage. There are some great cover bands in Russia and sometimes when foreign performers come to Russia, they use the services of these bands. One of such bands is Greentown who played with Graham Bonnet and Joe Lynn Turner. Another is Moscow Rock City (M.R.C). Their vocalist Pavel is a big fan of Kiss, so they were formed as a Kiss cover band. Then they started to cover other bands like Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath. When the book about Ozzy was released a few years ago (and I was a co-author), big cover party took place in one of the clubs and Moscow Rock City was a main act. I met Pavel there and we became friends. And now I can see him sharing the stage with Chris Holmes and Keri Kelli.
At first Moscow Rock City with Chris Holmes played the songs of W.A.S.P. – Animal, Wild Child, I Wanna Be Somebody, Blind In Texas, Mean Man, etc. I noticed that the belly of Chris was stacked with plaster. After the show I knew that just before the flight to Moscow Chris was bitten by a spider, but he decided to play here in spite of it. Two times the big man (his height is 2 meters) torn off the string, but continued to play.
Then Keri Kelli with Moscow Rock City performed the songs of Alice Cooper – No More Mr. Nice Guy, Under My Wheels, Lost In America, Poison, etc. Pavel sang during both sets (Alice Cooper's set was a bit better concerning the vocals). Then during the encore both guitarists came on stage together and played more covers – Ace Of Spades (Motörhead), Highway To Hell (AC/DC), Keep On Rocking In A Free World (Neil Young), Paranoid ().
After the concert I met Pavel and said that he sang great. He said that Alice Cooper's songs are more suitable for his voice, also he sang them before during some cover parties. Concerning the songs of W.A.S.P., he had only two rehearsals to be prepared. Anyway I think everything was a fantastic show.

Igor Grachev


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