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BulletBoys Smooth Up in Dayton

The Long Hot Summer tour came sizzling to Oddbody’s  in Dayton, OH with the BulletBoys Saturday August 6. For those that came to hear the hits that put them on the MTV map, those that followed their career from ’88 to last years’ newest offering Elefante’ and those that might’ve lost track of them at some point through eight records, a covers release and a live CD Marq Torien and Co. delivered the goods. The new record is the result of a two and a half year effort from the band with Torien taking risks and a multi-emotional lyrical voyage through each song.

Though the BulletBoys came from the era of decadence and may have been lumped into the “hair band” category undeservedly, Torien has said he considers himself a “working class musician,” though some records may have been under the radar, they’ve continued recording and touring since their longer haired, heyday.

80 Proof started the evening with a collection of classic covers designed to get the crowd warmed up and ready to bounce with the BulletBoys. They began in true metal form playing “Electric Eye” as big brother hovered from the heavens. The fallen saint of metal and godfather of the horns was given tribute on “Rainbow in the Dark.” As Tony… belted out Dio’s range. The energy and electricity flowed like a Tesla coil and a “Modern Day Cowboy.”

They went Bach to the skids on “Youth Gone Wild.” Another blond haired rebel got his due with a “Rebel Yell.” They told the tale of that special lady that wasn’t exactly pretty or small, but had a “Whole Lotta Rosie.” It was unclear if they did the AC/DC or Axl/DC version.

The priest was back! “You gotta another thing Coming.” They welcomed their new drummer to the show, ending with a Motley combo of “Too Young to Fall in Love” and “Shout at the Devil.”

Bridges to Burn came from down south making the multi-hour trek from Nashville to southern fry the stage. Described as a mix of Sabbath, Alice in Chains and Metallica, they’ve fairly new with a self-titled EP out. It was a return to Oddbody’s having previously played with Saxon and Armored Saint.

On stage they shared the collective attitude and appearance of seasoned players complete with loud solos, facials and rock and roll bravado combined with a cool, calm southern gentleman’s charm. With classy, experienced fingers and the hard-times swagger of classic blues players.

They welcomed one and all to the ceremony and “Welcome to the Brethren.” Judas Priest had theirs but tonight it was about Brides to Burn’s “Battle Cry.”

“Feels Good” went down like strong proofed spirits.  It was a set of swampy, electric bayou blues and magic delivered with skilled hands and some strong southern comfort. The next tune was a heavily felt heavily played tribute to veterans everywhere about the process of withdrawing from combat and returning to regular life, “PTSD.”

Vocalist Mike Thomas said he’d heard a lot of B.S. about metal being dead but looking around, he saw that the congregation was keeping it very much alive. If you’re into metal welcome to “My World.”

Unfortunately St. Christopher didn’t show up but the hits were played along with several new tunes.   

Torien was still the showman, belting out the pipes like it was still the ‘90s, running around stage with wide eyed statuesque charisma stopping mid-step in freeze frame stance and expression. Moving, bending and twisting with age-defying agility. Father Time has seemingly complimented him for longevity or just forgot about him so Torien can do his thing.  From physical comedy, to facials, to Cheshire bravo he entertained and seemed genuinely happy to be there. He yelled like the loud-lunged long haired bongo playing banshee MTV introduced us to, carrying the sexy swagger and flirtatious wild man’s eyes to the slow smooth blues breakdowns slinking around the mic and guitars strings like the old blues legends.

They launched into Elefante’ opener and new YouTube video “Rollover.” Torien was all personally and amusing bravado sporting shades, face smiling and contorting like a possessed method actor straining and squeezing the notes out of his guitar like making a woman squeal that’s hard to please. They went old school quick with “Hard as a Rock” from the first record. “Hell on my Heels” started with a one, two f—ck you! Bourbon’s still for breakfast with two packs a day.

As the sweat poured, Torien returned wide eyed ready to continue introducing the band then went to work on the guitar neck playing up some slapstick facials finishing the song.

They cranked out the “Tsunami” of emotions that come with relationships and its varying ways of destruction. Too bad they don’t make a pill for that.

The first hint of the MTV Freakshow era came with the smooth bass “THC Groove.”  The love of the almighty dollar is as practiced today as it was in the early ‘90s; don’t let the money fool you.

Torien dedicated “Castles in the Sky” to a recent fallen friend saying when they started this band a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away when pterodactyl’s roamed the sky and dinosaurs roamed the earth, who helped them survive in the early days and had the heart to get us sign and sell lots of records. He also dedicated it to everyone in the U.S. armed forces.

“Symphony” was played with hope and was about all those broken hearts, heartstrings pulled, battle scars and wounds life throws to test us as people.

They saved the best for last, giving the Headbangers Ball generation what it wanted, “Smooth up in YA.”

The crowd chanted one more song to which Torien and crew graced Sir Elton John with the “Bitch is Back.”

Images by Mike Ritchie

First posted here

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