SLIPKID | A Celebration of The Who
Featuring Gary Cherone
Blue Ocean Music Hall
September 24, 2021
Photos & Review by Michael LaFleche
SALISBURY, Mass. – Local boys Slipkid, A Celebration of The Who, featuring Gary Cherone, made it back to the stage for the first time since February 2020 at the awesome oceanside venue in Salisbury Beach, Massachusetts on a Friday night. Of course the name Slipkid sounds familiar, it is a reference to the legendary band, The Who. Even more interesting is the makeup of Slipkid, led by one of the greatest and perhaps most underrated rock frontmen in the last several decades, Gary Cherone, with great guitarists and his brother Mark Cherone. Of course you know Gary, and the brothers Cherone, having grown up in Malden, Massachusetts. You know of Gary’s amazing pipes and energy from his work with other local favorites, Extreme. And not to forget his work with another sort of well known band named Van Halen (wink).
Opening the show was another local Malden bred guy, Charlie Farren, of Fahrenheit fame. Charlie was looking good and sounding even better as he warmed up the Blue Ocean Music Hall crowd. On stage all by himself, telling stories, regaling us with his time working over the years in rock and roll and corporate life, his Nylon stringed guitar and pleasant demeanor were a lovely way to start the night. Charlie has written incredibly rich and catchy songs that he played and is working toward releasing a collection of these works in “Guitar and Voice”
But as the waves crashed below the music hall on the beach, it reminded me of the music that we were about to hear from Slipkid. The song in my head as I was waiting for Gary and the crew to join the eager crowd was “I Am the Sea”. I had the pleasure to see The Who at the Isle of Wight in England several years ago and felt the energy of their insanely rich catalog, and their contributions to music are immense. The power chords of Pete Townshend, the theatrics and energy of Roger Daltrey. But as Gary, Mark and the rest of the band got up on stage, it was not that much of a stretch to feel the real Who energy, perhaps when they were a younger outfit than I was able to witness years ago.
The set included all of the greatest hits. Starting with the older stuff like “Can’t Explain”, “Substitute”, “My Generation”. Then some of the work from the early 70’s like “Baba O’riley” “Won’t Get Fooled Again” and “Behind Blue Eyes”. Some of my personal favorites were when the set switched up to the “Tommy” album with selections including “Pinball Wizard”, “Tommy Can you Hear Me? And the end bit “We’re Not Gonna Take It”, with Cherone really getting into the spirit with “See Me, Feel Me”, and wrapping up with the iconic “Listening To You”, which was completely rousing and awakening.
Other hits played extremely well were “5:15” – you know the inside outside leave me alone song with the horn section in the original track. Cherone was going crazy on stage for all these his ripped physique and bandana making me almost forget I was not actually seeing Roger Daltrey. “Squeezebox” ensued, and of course the hit “You Better You Bet” had the entire crowd singing. Gary left the stage for brother Mark to take over Pete Townshend duties for “Eminence Front” like Pete singing and playing his grove laden guitar on the song.
Gary comes back out for “Who are You?” flying around the stage, and interacting with adoring fans directly (The stage and the dining tables and on top of each other, not like a normal concert venue). Then comes the highlight of the show, building as the keyboards of Jeff for “Won’t Get Fooled Again”. The encore brought us back to Quadrophenia, the song with the best ending in rock and roll, “Love, Reign o’er me”, with thunderous drums by Dana playing his best Keith Moon, Paul playing the powerful bass like Entwistle.
I had so much fun at this show and it was great to see the Malden boys playing to what seemed like a real hometown crowd. It felt like a family reunion, everybody was from Malden in the crowd too, with hugs and kisses flying about, people showing each other their kids and how they have grown up. Very different from most rock shows I have been to! This was their first show, so they will be touring the region; you must catch this show.
SLIPKID photo gallery
For more news, info and tour dates on Slipkid, visit: https://www.slipkidband.com