May 12, 2016

Sixx:AM's Prayers for the Damned Tour

James Michael of Sixx:AM

Last night, I had the most amazing concert experience watching Sixx:AM perform live at the Norva in Norfolk, Virginia, just one stop in their Prayers for the Damned tour.  I kid you not, they make you feel like you are part of one huge party and the band is doing one hell of an awesome job making everyone feel welcomed, appreciated, and entertained.

Opening for this show was one of Virginia's finest and popular heavy metal bands, 710 Oil who tore the house down with their high energy and hard rocking music.  While Chris Johnson (lead vocalist), Gary Hammond (electric guitarist) and Les Moseley (bassist) made heavy metal madness head banging and swinging their long hair back and forth, drummer Vinnie Mastropasqua pounded his drum skins with the fury of gods.  It's no wonder these guys have often been hand-picked to open up for major label bands that tour the Virginia concert scene.

710 Oil doing a soundcheck prior to opening the show

After 710 Oil's set came the band from New York, Cilver, who happens to be part of the Prayers For The Damned tour.  I had never heard this band before this show so all their songs were new to me. My thoughts?  I was quite surprised at how well this band performed and how great they were with interacting with the audience. Don't underestimate this band!  I hope I don't sound sexist, but in a normally male-dominated rock music industry, Cilver, with a female fronting the band, is surprisingly refreshing and impressive!  There's another female in the band that surprises - Christina, the drummer -who can give Alex Van Halen a run for his money. I don't know if she's permanently with the band or not, though, because I don't see her name listed among the band members on their Facebook page. Even if she may just be touring with them, she's phenomenal to listen to.

Cilver performing onstage at the NorVA
Cilver kept the crowd hungry for more with their music, Uliana's Facebook Live video recording of the audience cheering, and that crowd dive she did.  Fans passed her above our heads across the area where I happened to be. I'm glad people were nice and didn't drop her like I've heard some people have done elsewhere.

After two amazing performances, we were just geared up for more...and once the lights in the venue dimmed, you knew that Sixx:AM was gonna finally take the stage.  They opened up with 'This is Gonna Hurt' (from their second album of the same name).  I was already hitting my hands up in the air and swaying along with the rhythm before they got to playing their second song, 'Rise' (from their newest album 'Prayers for the Damned').  I - and nearly everyone around me - were just as excited!

I must admit, because I was having so much fun listening to Sixx:AM live (and at my favorite rock concert venue even!), I didn't care what time it was or that I still had to go to work in the morning.

Man, aside from the awesome music, I was ecstatic just to see Nikki, James, and DJ in person.  Kind of wish I had Meet and Greet passes.  Anyway even at 15 feet away, I was at a close enough distance to see how amazingly good Nikki looks in person. You know, when you think about his heroin diaries stories, most people who survive that kind of addiction start to look horribly aged.  Yes, I know Nikki is 57 but I just didn't see it. He looked great that night!

DJ Ashba - I just loved his face makeup for the show.  Super-cool!!!  And you know, he is a really talented guitarist.  The way he makes his electric guitar belt out those tunes like he does is sweet! And yes, he moves around like he never gets tired.

I could say the same about James Michael never getting tired.  I wonder...did he even take a break? I've gone to shows where you'd see the singer disappear for like 15 minutes while you listen to a drum or guitar solo. If he did take a brief break, whoever arranged the set (songs) planned everything so well that the whole set flowed very smoothly and you wouldn't notice if one of them took a break.

Speaking about James Michael, I wonder if he realizes how great he is onstage as he is in the studio producing music (for Sixx:AM and others)? He takes on stage with him an extraordinary ability to engage the audience and bring more power and more feeling to their songs. He takes Sixx:AM music to a new dimension. That's not a talent every performer has...and James definitely has it.

I must say that I was also very impressed with the talents of Amber and Melissa who were doing more than provide additional vocals. They sang, they danced, they rocked like divas! I loved them!  I won't forget Dustin Steinke who is drumming for the tour. He is magnificent, too! 

I could go on forever about the concert because I enjoyed it so much that I thought I'd died and gone to heaven...hehe! You want to feel just as good?  Go see Sixx:AM when they come to your town, too!!! 
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