by Deb Rao
– Senior Columnist —
February 1, 2014 at The Coach House San Juan in Capistrano CA. —
As thousands of people headed into Las Vegas to place their bets for Superbowl Sunday, I found myself exiting the city for the weekend. California here I come. It has been three years since I have seen the ocean. So I was overly excited to be heading to San Jaun Capistrano to see Dokken and yes take a long walk on the beach.
To my surprise, the city of San Juan Capistrano is a sleepy little town. The scene is very laid back compared to the glamour and glitz nonstop City of Sin. Let the adventure begin. I arrived at the Coach House where Dokken were set to perform at 10:00 P.M. The Coach House is a funky little club tucked away in the outskirts of San Juan Capistrano. To my surprise the club is sitting room only. The interior features a brick setting, which proves to be a nightmare for bands trying to obtain that perfect balance of sound.
Dokken hit the stage at 10:15 P.M. performing a 75 – minute set. The band opened with “Kiss Of Death.” It took the sound man 3 songs to get the sound right. Everything was distorted and the mic stand didn’t work right. As Don found the mic stand shrinking throughout the set. Finally, Dokken tour manager Dave got the sound right. Let the show begin!
Dokken kicked into high gear. The set featured songs that spanned the bands extensive career. It didn’t take the crowd long to get into the set with Dokken hits “Just Got Lucky” and “Breaking The Chains.” Don even played his 27-year-old “Back For The Attack” guitar. It was great to see Mick Brown back on drums. Mick is a ferocious drummer and it makes all the difference in the world when he is playing.
Highlights of the set included the new single “Empire.” This song really rocks. Guitar virtuoso Jon Levin really shines on this song. The beginning of the song has this great riff that just rocks hard performed live. The band also performed “This Fire” from their previous release. It is so inspiring to see ‘80s bands performing new material live. Dokken is one band that never relies on their past efforts. They always look to the future and strive to keep the band fresh and new. That is why this line-up so rocks. The members all support each other.
Other highlights of the set included the jam on “Too High To Fly.” This song showcases the bluesy side of Dokken. Bass player Sean McNabb and drummer Mick Brown kicked out the jams. Other highlights included the acapella intro with Don singing “Alone Again.” Also Dokken tour manager Dave Unger performed on keyboards. The guitar intro to this song is so beautiful and Jon Levin did a great job of getting that special melodic tone. Bass player Sean McNabb stole the show on his bass solo on “It’s Not Love.” Finally towards the end of the set Mick Brown told the audience to stand up. Finally! The audience was able to let go and enjoy. During the set Mick yet several times,” Everybody scream.” This was amusing.
The end of the set rocked hard towards the end with “In My Dreams” and encore “Tooth and Nail.” The show was packed and full of old school Dokken fans. After the show I got to hang out with the band. Sean McNabb was there with his beautiful wife Christine. Dokken are set to rock Texas and Mexico next weekend. And The Seahawks won the Superbowl. Revenge was sweet for Patriot Nation!
Kiss Of Death
Just Got Lucky
Breaking The Chains
When Heaven Comes Down
It’s Not Love
In My Dreams
Tooth And Nail
Visit the band online: www.dokkencentral.com