The Rockbar Theater Reno turned out to be a local rock fest on Friday, Feb. 10, 2017, as the scheduled headliner The Greg Kihn Band either cancelled or got cancelled. The whole story is still unclear to me at the time I’m writing this review, and the cancellation was an unfortunate mess to say the least.
A rumor got started on social media that the Rockbar Theater Reno was closed and this show and all other scheduled shows had been cancelled. Cue the firestorm that, in the end, had a big effect on attendance for this show. Members from all the remaining bands booked for that evening frantically posted that the show was still going to happen, just without the Greg Kihn Band.
The Greg Golden Band stepped up to headline the show and pulled off what I would call one of the best sets the Rockbar Theater has put on since the doors opened last year. The two other local acts on the bill were the recently revamped rock band Blackwater and Reno radio superstar, Max Volume (aka Glenn Bailey).
Scroll below the photo gallery for a full review of the show.
Opening the Show
The show started on time with Volume hitting the stage for a solo acoustic set. Playing for more than a half hour, his set list included: “I Me Mine”, “Outta Town”, “Turned Away”, “Times Like These” (Foo Fighters Cover), “Reno Nevada” and “Novelties In Time”.
Volume always puts on a good set. He’s a good opener for any band, but he must be tired of doing solo gigs because the day after this gig he announced via Facebook that he has two new members ready to start playing with his baby, The Max Volume Band. The new guys joining Volume are, bassist Jim Wilson (Hollywood Trashed) and drummer Brandon Hooten (Silverwing Band).
I caught up with Volume after the show and asked him for his thoughts on the night. He replied, “I almost cancelled. I had a migraine, I was crabby from two days of reporting floods, avalanches, road closures and all. Plus my new Nike’s are too narrow and my little toe on my right foot was killing me. I thought Blackwater sounded great and the Greg Golden Band just gets better every show.”
Supporting act Blackwater was up next. Talk about getting better with every show. These guys are good. Really good. As a young band that hasn’t been together very long they manage to have a great stage presence that fits their style and their original music screams rock and roll.
Current members are, Todd Baumgartner (vocals, guitar), Steve Mac (guitars), Mick Capsouto (bass, vocals) and Paul Navarro (drums, vocals).
Blackwater took 45 minutes to work through this set list: “Pressure”, “Down”, “Into The Night’, “Riverside”, “Blackwater”, “Sweet Love”, “Why”, “Rocket”, “Hard Times” and “Ride”.
I’ve now seen the new line-up a few times and it’s amazing just how much they have progressed in such a short time period, that’s what happens when everyone knows what they are doing and most importantly love what they’re doing.
The Headliner Takes the Stage
It’s apparent that Greg Golden and his cohorts, Randy Scoles (co-lead vocals), Paul Holdgate (co-lead vocals), Jeff Montgomery (guitar), Larry Hart (bass) and Steve Brown (drums) really love what they’re doing and truly care about the Reno music scene and the venues they play at. The same goes for the other acts on this bill. This show absolutely proves that. It would’ve been so easy after all the crap that happened before show time to just say “Forget it,” and cancel the whole thing, which might have been the end of the Rockbar. My hats off to all three bands and much respect goes out to all involved.
The Greg Golden Band’s set went well over two hours and the set list looked like this: “Long Way Home”, “Cherokee”, “Rock And Roll Gambler”, “Bad Winter”, “Helter Skelter” (Beatles Cover), “Into The Darkness”, “I’ve Got A Gun”, “Hell Or High Water”, “Far Away”, “Another World”, “Old School”, “On With The Show”, “Maybe I’m A Leo”, “Bridge Of Sighs” (Robin Trower Cover), “Too Rolling Stoned” (Robin Trower Cover), “Born On The Bayou” (CCR Cover), “Higher Ground”, “Red House”, “Man On The Silver Mountain” (Rainbow Cover), “Stand Up And Wave The Flag”, “One Thing On My Mind” and “Rock Candy” (Montrose Cover).
Golden and the band rocked the stage from the very first note to the last beat of the drum. They played an absolutely flawless set. All band members were in top form, as was the sound thanks to top-notch audio engineer and former GGB sound guy Michael Young on the sound board. Even Greg Golden will tell you that there’s nobody that can make GGB sound better than Young.
After all that was said about this show and the venue, the good, the bad and the ugly, one thing is clear: the Reno music scene is alive and kicking. As for the venue, let’s hope they can get back on track and prove to all the naysayers that the Rockbar Theater Reno is a kick-ass venue like I know they are.
On a side note, I’m not sure how many people know that Rockbar Theater owner Susan Cramer has some medical problems going on right now. Let’s all send her some positive thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery and good health.
And always support your local bands and venues … Go To A Show!