Silver Reef Casino Resort
4876 Haxton Way
For a time during the late ’80s and early ’90s, just before grunge took over the charts and airwaves, it was impossible to turn on a radio or MTV without hearing a song by Skid Row.
In an era of glammed-out bad boys sporting big hair and larger-than-life personas, Skid Row stood out more for what they weren’t than what they were. Sure, they boasted the bounty of hair that was compulsory for metal musicians, but their flowing locks had a more wash-and-wear vibe than teased-and-dyed. And like their hair metal brethren, they never saw a pair of leather pants they didn’t want to paint themselves into, but they paired theirs with flannel and denim rather than leopard print and lip gloss.
They differed in their music as well. In the same year that Vince Neil was singing about Dr. Feelgood and Stephen Tyler was detailing the delights of love in an elevator, Skid Row—grittier and more raw from the jump—was telling the story of Ricky, “a young boy” who “fought like a switchblade so no one could take him down.”
That song was “18 and Life,” and by the time the final verse ends with a plaintively wailed “That child blew a child away,” it’s obvious Ricky’s “courtship with a gun” was a tragic one, and he’s the 18-year-old doing life for impulsively shooting someone. An evocative video detailing Ricky’s working-class life on the fringe, his drinking habit and the shooting of his best friend landed in heavy rotation on MTV and cemented Skid Row as a force to be reckoned with.
On the strength of “18 and Life”—which reached the Billboard Top 10 and is their highest-charting song to date—as well as such singles as “Youth Gone Wild,” “I Remember You,” and “Piece of Me,” Skid Row went platinum many times over and entered the band into the pantheon of heavy metal heavyweights. Skid Row’s second album, Slave to the Grind, capitalized on that success, debuting in the top spot of the Billboard 200.
While that marked the high point chart-wise for Skid Row, the band has remained active in the years since the heady days of hair metal. Like most bands that have been at it for three decades, they’ve endured some lineup changes—although the brain trust responsible for their biggest hits, Dave “The Snake” Sabo” and Rachel Bolan (aka the guy with the epic nose ring), remains firmly intact. These days, former DragonForce frontman ZP Theart is holds down vocal duties, and if you’re wondering whether he can capture the snarl of “Youth Gone Wild” or the epic wail of “18 and Life” properly, the answer is a hard, fist-pumping yes.
Of course, if you’ve already purchased tickets for Skid Row’s concert Sat., March 7 at the Silver Reef Casino Resort, you’ll get to witness the hits firsthand. Seats are going fast, so make your way to http://www.silverreefcasino.com and claim your rightful place among the youth gone wild.
Who: Skid Row
When: 7pm Sat., March 7
Where: Silver Reef Casino Resort
Info: http://www.silverreefcasino.com or the Silver Reef’s Facebook page (which is where ticket and prize giveaways happen, hint hint)