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Concert Review: Doro w/ Fatal Smile (March 22, 2008), Poughkeepsie, NY

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There is nothing quite like a night of rock and metal with a group of people that are all interested in the same thing, rocking out! You know what I mean. When you go to a show and everyone there is of the same mind set: get loud, stay loud, and bang your head!

This show provided just the right mixture that is conducive to a fun night. The only bad thing is  I did not show up until after 10 PM, meaning that I missed the first couple of opening acts. My apologies to those I missed, we'll catch up next time! As for who I did get to see, they played their hearts out to a crowd that may have been on the small side, but was passionate about their musical choices.

As I got inside The Chance Theater the crew was just finishing set up for the next act. It was just about 10:30 when Fatal Smile took the stage. Hailing from Stockholm, Sweden, the four-piece act delivered a half hour's worth of old school rock and metal in the 1980's tradition. The sound was reminiscent of the likes of Motley Crue and Dokken, good old 80's era cock-rock.

They came to the stage in leather and chains, ready to rock. The music was very catchy and perfectly captured that bygone era while not feeling dated. I cannot say they were good or memorable, but it was very entertaining. They worked the stage with mic stands thrust into the sky, guitars held high, and fists pumped into the air. This was completely fun and engrossing rock that I would definitely be interested in checking out further. A couple of songs that stood out were "S.O.B." and "Run for Your Life," both from their upcoming release, World Domination.

Following their set the stage was broken down and reset for our primary attraction, the mighty Doro! Now, despite Doro Pesch's 20+ year career, it was only last year that I had ever really listened to her. Even now, nearly a full calendar year out from that initial introduction, my exposure is still quite limited. Limited to the 20 Years a Warrior's Soul DVD release, the Warrior Soul album and a concert. So, I have to claim much ignorance when it comes to her catalog of music. Still, there is no denying the talent and energy that she possesses. Watching her onstage, it is nearly impossible to ignore.

The band came out full of energy. Ripping through the songs and playing to the crowd, Doro gave as much energy as she received, which was considerable. It was as if one big family got together for a party. It is something that cannot be described, but you know it when you experience it.

Doro and her band were in perfect synch as they rocked through each song. You could tell by the smiles on their faces just how much fun they were having. It did not matter that it was not a sellout show; all that mattered was that everyone there was having a good time.

The set list included songs such as "Earthshaker Rock," the crowd favorite "You're My Family," "Burning the Witches," and "Fuer Immer." As the clock approached midnight, Doro wished us a Happy Easter before playing a fan request, "Above the Ashes," that was followed by a cover of Judas Priest's "Breaking the Law," a band that was a major influence on her career. One other cover entered the mix, a request by a fan she had met earlier in the day, KISS' "Only You." The set ended with a rousing rendition of the sing-along song "All We Are." The break did not last long as the band returned to perform a three song encore, culminating with "East Meets West."

What a blast. Doro is an amazing performer and she has surrounded herself with a group of sloid musicians, many of which have been with her for over a decade. The one difference between this show and the one from last year is the adsence of Chris Caffrey. As good as he is, the only thing missed was his solo set, her regular guitarist is a solid performer and sounded great tonight.

In short, if you have the opportunity to catch her live, do so. You will not be disappointed.

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