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THE WINERY DOGS, BLACK HEART SAINTS In Houston, TX With Photos!

By Larry Petro, News Monkey
Friday, March 24, 2023 @ 12:15 AM


Supergroup Trio Plays For Nearly 2 Hours On Billy's Birthday At Warehouse Live March 19th

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All Photos By Larry Petro/Petrofyed Photography

And at last, the finale of my 3 shows in 5 days. It's difficult to say that the best was saved for last as the two prior shows were pretty damn good, but when you're talking about a trio of guys with the musical pedigree behind them that THE WINERY DOGS have, they probably have to get the nod. The band is currently out on the road in support of their latest release titled III that was unleashed on the world back in February. Support for the March 19th show at Warehouse Live was provided by Texas' own BLACK HEART SAINTS and local act KARIM K. And as if the night couldn't be more memorable than Wolfgang Van Halen celebrating his birthday the day before their Houston show 2 days earlier, this day happened to be bassist Billy Sheehan's 70th (!?) birthday so there was plenty of reason to party. And to top it off, the Texas dates on this tour were hosted by radio personality Eddie Trunk.

First up was local act KARIM K, named after the local guitarist of the same name. Admittedly I do not know much about him or his music but what I can tell you is that they played a nice opening set, sometimes performing without a singer, sometimes with a male fronting the band and still other times with a female on vocals. The crowd really enjoyed their performance and the one song that sticks out to me that they included was an inspired version of the ROLLING STONES' "Sympathy For The Devil". A fine way to kick things off.

Next up and getting a nice plug from Trunk about them was BLACK HEART SAINTS, a four piece group of hard rockers hailing from Austin, TX and one that I have had the enjoyment of seeing at least a handful of times now opening for a variety of national acts that have come through town. Their set was a bit shorter than they normally get but the band, vocalist Josh LeBlanc, guitarist Mark Sean, bassist Ian C.G. and drummer Nathan Flores are the real deal and made the most of their brief time, opening with "Lines", a solid opener that shows what these guys are about. Frontman LeBlanc puts me in mind of Jeff Keith of TESLA in looks but has a much stronger voice and drummer Flores is an absolute beast behind the kit and a pleasure to capture on film with his crazy facial expressions. The band also played a new single that was recently in that of "Human Xstacy" before finishing up with "Misery", another great original track.

Setlist:

  • "Lines"
  • "Crazy"
  • "Reach The End"
  • "Human Xstacy"
  • "Misery"
So now that THE WINERY DOGS have 3 studio albums under their belts and of course a huge catalog of material from their other bands, how do you choose a setlist for the show? Easy, you play a 17 song set of nothing but WINERY DOGS material that lasts for nearly TWO hours, that's how! After a nice introduction from Trunk the band launched their set with "Gaslight" from the latest release III, one of 6 tracks that they would perform from the album, which was followed by another, "Xanadu", before calling out "Captain Love" from the previous opus Hot Streak. You couldn't help but be in awe of this group and the absolute clinic they put on in the mastery of their instruments during songs like "Desire", "Time Machine" and "Stars" during which guitarist Richie Kotzen, who incidentally doesn't play with a pick, got an extended solo and just wowed the audience. How his fingers aren't killing him after a show is beyond me.

So how did they celebrate Billy's birthday you ask? Well, after "Damaged", "Mad World" and "The Other Side" Portnoy and Kotzen got to take a break and let Billy have an 8 minute bass solo. If you didn't already know there was no way you would believe the guy is 70 years old, his playing is still at the highest level. Following his solo the guys brought out a cake and the crowd sang happy birthday to him. At the conclusion he thanked everyone and then acknowledged his wife Elisabetta who was also in attendance because not only was it Billy's birthday, it was also their 16th wedding anniversary!

Following that short interlude it was back to the music and Sheehan traded out his favorite baby blue bass for a transparent red one as the jam continued with "The Red Wine", followed by I'm No Angel" and set closer "Oblivion". The band returned for 2 encores, "Regret" and "Elevate" before taking their final bows. This was definitely one of the best shows of the year so far, a fact that probably no one in the packed house would dare argue with you about. The current U.S. Tour runs through April 6th in Nashville with the band heading to Brazil for 3 shows at the end of April, a few others in South America and Mexico and then, much to the happiness of those in the West, they storm the West Coast from May 17th-28th before heading overseas in June. Don't miss this show if it comes near you!

THE WINERY DOGS On Tour:

  • 3/24 - St. Petersburg, FL - Jannus Live
  • 3/25 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL - Culture Room
  • 3/26 - Orlando, FL - The Plaza Live
  • 3/30 - Virginia Beach, VA - Elevation 27
  • 3/31 - Hopewell, VA - Hopewell Theatre
  • 4/1 - Leesburg, VA - Tally Ho Theatre
  • 4/2 - Charlotte, NC - The Underground
  • 4/4 - Ashville, NC - Orange Peel
  • 4/5 - Knoxville, TN - The Mill & Mine
  • 4/6 - Nashville, TN - Brooklyn Bowl
  • 4/27 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - Vivo Rio (with Stone Temple Pilots)
  • 4/28 - Curitiba, Brazil - Tork n Roll (with Skid Row)
  • 4/30 - São Paulo, Brazil - Summer Breeze Festival
  • 5/02 - Dyn, Argentina - El Teatro Flores
  • 5/04 - Bogotá, Colombia - Mayor Auditorium CUN
  • 5/06 - Guadalajara, Mexico - C3 Stage
  • 5/07 - Mexico City, Mexico - Auditorio BB
  • 5/09 - Monterrey, Mexico - Cafe Iguana
  • 5/17 - Los Angeles, CA - The Regent Theater
  • 5/18 - Anaheim, CA - The Grove
  • 5/19 - San Diego, CA - Belly Up
  • 5/20 - Ventura, CA - The Ventura Theater
  • 5/23 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall
  • 5/25 - Fresno, CA - Tower Theater
  • 5/27 - Roseville, CA - Gold
  • 5/28 - Las Vegas, NV - Vampd
  • 6/12 - Hamburg, Germany @ Markthalle
  • 6/13 - Zoetermeer, Netherlands @ Cultuurpodium Boerderij
  • 6/15 - Dessel, Belgium @ Graspop Metal Meeting
  • 6/16 - Wolverhampton, United Kingdom @ KK's Steel Mill
  • 6/17 - Nottingham, United Kingdom @ Rock City
  • 6/18 - London, United Kingdom @ 02 Shepherds Bush Empire
  • 6/20 - Cologne, Germany @ Die Kantine
  • 6/21 - Frankfurt Am Main, Germany @ Batschkapp
  • 6/22 - Milan, Italy @ Alcatraz
  • 6/25 - Cartagena, Spain @ El Batel Park
  • 6/27 - Angoulins, France @ Crossroad
Setlist:
  • "Gaslight"
  • "Xanadu"
  • "Captain Love"
  • "Hot Streak"
  • "Desire"
  • "Breakthrough"
  • "Time Machine"
  • "Stars" (Richie guitar solo)
  • "Damaged"
  • "Mad World"
  • "The Other Side"
  • Bass Solo
  • "The Red Wine"
  • "I'm No Angel"
  • "Oblivion"
Encore:
  • "Regret"
  • "Elevate"
Check out some more photos from the show!
All Photos By Larry Petro/Petrofyed Photography


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