98 Rock / Sara Fleischer Farewell Party
featuring: Charm City Devils, Tom Keifer, Finger Eleven, Steve Whiteman (KIX), Child’s Play reunion, The Ravyns June 4, 2015
The Queen of Baltimore Rock N Roll, Sara Fleischer, decided to call it a day after 38 years of service to the Baltimore Rock community and her send off party was a 3+ hour celebration which carried on till the wee hours of the night with DIRT (which featured a guest onstage appearance by Brandon from Bleed The Dream) playing the afterparty at Angels Rock Bar.
The evening kicked off with The Ravyns playing a short 3 song set. Between band sets the current and past 98 Rock staff shared stories of working with Sarah throughout the years. Fleischer was given citations from the Governor and Mayor of Maryland and this show was a proper send off for her. Bands such as Metallica, The Offspring, and Scorpions all sent Sarah video messages thanking her for 38 great years.
Finger Eleven performed a 3 song unplugged set which was a tad boring yet sounded amazing. What many bands and concert organizers fail to realize is that an unplugged set performed in a festival styled setting rarely goes over well. Unplugged music works well in a club or small environment BUT the best analogy I can give you is that it’s like putting Simon & Garfunkle on a stage where the crowd wants AC/DC!
Charm City Devils started their set with “Let’s Rock N Roll” and this was where the night really started because CCD were the first hard rock band that played loud rock which what the crowd wanted.
Charm City Devil’s set bled into a 2 song jam with Steve Whiteman from KIX and for this part of the show fans got a once in a lifetime show where Charm City Devils backed Whiteman for KIX tunes!
”Blow My Fuse” sounded awesome and featured Jason Heiser on drums and when they performed “The Itch” John Allen played drums. On a side note, the majority of the crowd wanted to hear more from Whiteman/CCD because this WAS true Baltimore Rock N Roll at it’s best!
Tom Keifer and his wife took the stage for a 3 song unplugged set and this was actually a low point in the show because after Whiteman/CCD the crowd was pumped and ready to rock....what Keifer delivered was not particularly what the crowd wanted. Keifer’s set started with a song off his last solo record and it sounded good but was just boring....the audience clearly wanted classic Cinderella material and Keifer delivered a great performance that was just a little too overly indulgent on his part. “Shake Me” was performed as a stripped down blues cover and it didn’t go over too well with this crowd. “Don’t Know What You Got..” was the closer and that was where Tom redeemed himself because the crowd sang along to almost every word yet the 3 song set was still a downer because the crowd was pumped for upbeat rock n roll, not mellow acoustic music. Keifer and his wife left the venue within 5 minutes of their set ending.
The Child’s Play reunion was next and that was another special moment in the show where they brought out Child’s Play’s original bassist and original singer for a 2 song (“Wind” and “My Bottle”) set which sounded amazing.
The very special surprise ending featured most of Charm City Devils with members of Crack the Sky performing a cover of “Thank You” by Led Zeppelin with Sarah Fleischer setting onstage for this song.
The show was a great send off for Fleischer and covered her 38 years at 98 Rock quite well. 98 Rock in Baltimore will never be the same without it’s Queen!