May 17, 2016
Hair Metal was alive and well when Finnish rockers Santa Cruz and former Skidrow singer Sebastian Bach played at Soundstage in Baltimore, Maryland on May 17.
The crowd was primarily older and Sebastian joked during the show that many of the guys in that crowd had probably seen him the very first time he played Maryland with Madame X back in the day.
Santa Cruz kicked off the show a few minutes after 8 PM with a set that relied primarily on blues based/glam guitar rock with solid rhythm and gutter/glam styled vocals.
Santa Cruz singer Arttu "Archie" Kuosmanen comes off a tad cocky onstage and offstage his presence is exactly the same. Lead guitar duties are split equally between Archie and Johnny although I personally felt that Johnny had a better overall tone.
The Rhythm section is what essentially holds Santa Cruz together yet sadly they are hidden behind the vocals and guitar.
Overall the crowd loved Santa Cruz and after their set the band members hung out at their merch table to meet fans. Look closely at Archie’s arm and you will see that he has a matching “Youth Gone Wild” tattoo which is very similar to Sebastian’s.
Bach and company played two sets on this night and the first set started with Brent Woods churning out his rendition of Hendrix’s “Little Wing” which sounded superb! Woods is the perfect guitarist for Sebastian and his tone fits with Sebastian’s vocals perfectly!
Sebastian was charging $200 per person for the after show meet and greet which took place on his bus.
Sebastian cracked jokes throughout the show and seemed a tad annoyed when fans started to pull out cell phones to record video yet played it off as if it was no big deal.
Overall this was the best solo performance I’ve ever seen Bach give; he sounded great, the band worked well together, and Wood’s IS the perfect guitarist for Bach.
Interesting side note: The Skidrow material always featured a twin guitar attack but with the current Sebastian Bach band there is just one guitar. Brent has a Marshall Stack on each side of the stage and they are live which fill out the sound and give a twin guitar attack with a live cab on each side of the stage despite there only being one guitarist onstage.
Towards the end of the second set Bach said a female fan was holding up a sign which said “Happy Birthday Eddie Murphy” and it confused Bach but he wished Murphy a Happy Birthday regardless.
A random fan in the crowd was called out for looking like Sebastian’s cousin and Bas joked that if the guy got a long blonde wig he could be the new singer for Skidrow because he looked like Sebastian. Bas then joked that no one would even know the difference, not even the members of Skidrow!
This concert was the perfect celebration of all things rock n roll and both Santa Cruz and Bach delivered strong sets.