I’m on a real The Winery Dogs kick right now and I don’t know if it’s ever going to end. Just listening to the album you can tell these guys are amazing, hell just knowing who the guys in the band are tells you that this is an accomplished band. That said there is just something different about seeing it live. You’ve got three guys who are masters at their instruments standing on stage and you can’t figure out which guy to focus on because you don’t want to miss anything.
I caught The Winery Dogs in Palatine, IL on October 18th at Durty Nellies and it pissed me off. It made me pissed at every other "great" band out there. There are only a handful of bands with the chops that these guys have and yet I’m watching them at Durty Nellies with 500 to 1000 and not at the United Center. It made me hate bands that I love (temporarily). Why does Pearl Jam (I love Pearl Jam by the way) get to play Wrigley Field, these guys should be up there. It made me want to grab every dumbass hipster, Goth and Emo kid and bring them to this show and have them tell me this sucks.
During the show there was a girl in front of me with her boyfriend. About ¾’s of the way through the show she asked her boyfriend why these guys weren’t more popular and his response was, ‘they’ve only released one album, but they’re going to be.’ I hope he’s right. I don’t ever want to miss another The Winery Dogs show. At just about every concert I’ve ever been to my mind ultimately wanders and I start to look around the venue and check out other people and their reactions, but with The Winery Dogs my mind wasn’t able to wander. They grabbed my attention and wouldn’t let it go.
The Winery Dogs are made up of Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater), Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big) and Richie Kotzen (Mr. Big, Poison). Billy and Richie don’t use guitar picks. Obviously most of the best bass players of all time don’t use picks, but it’s rare when a guitar player doesn’t especially when they play as good as Richie. Richie Kotzen to me sings like a combination of Chris Cornell and Steve Perry and plays guitar like Jeff Beck. Richie Kotzen deserves to be not only known but to be considered amongst the best singers and guitarists of all time.
I was mesmerized. Please please please check out The Winery Dogs. Save rock music from the hipsters. I want the children of today to learn how to master their instruments and not just recording software. The Winery Dogs is the perfect band to inspire the next generation. Let’s hope they can reach them.
BYLINE: Bob Zerull is the Managing Editor of Zoiks! Online. He writes pop culture commentary, does interviews with bands, and reviews music and stand-up concerts. He also administers Zoiks! Online's Facebook page. Follow Bob on twitter at bzerull. Email Bob at email@example.com.