Jack’s Throwback

Saturday night Jenny and I left the boys with Jenny’s parents and soaked up some old-school rock and roll at Jack’s Throwback, a tribute band festival at Gexa Energy Pavilion in Fair Park. It had been a long time since I’d been to a big outdoor rock concert. How long, you ask? I think it was Aerosmith back in high school when Gexa Energy Pavilion was called Starplex. (I’ll bet you still call it Starplex, too, don’t you? Naming rights suck.)

Jack’s Throwback featured four different cover bands. In order of preference, they were:

1) Back in Black (AC/DC) – FANTASTIC! Spot-on performances across the board, highly polished with tons of energy and talent. Absolutely rocked the house. They closed with my favorite song of theirs, “Thunderstruck”. They also performed “You Shook Me All Night Long”, which I wanted to play at the end of our wedding as we walked down the aisle, but Mrs. Box objected. =)

2) Queen Nation (Queen) – Excellent job as well in the opening slot. The highest-profile member of Queen was the irreplaceable Freddie Mercury, and they found a guy who can play Freddie pretty well, including his keyboard skills. Queen has fun music that plays well in an outdoor setting. I never knew that “Fat Bottomed Girls” was a Queen song.

3) Fan Halen (Van Halen) – Good sound, KILLER lead guitarist taking Eddie Van Halen’s spot. Overall they were a bit less polished and comfortable in their roles, but still very entertaining. The lead singer wasn’t quite as flexible as David Lee Roth but attempted his signature high kicks and jumps off the speakers anyway, so he gets bonus points for effort.

4) Guns 4 Roses (Guns ‘n’ Roses) – Our least favorite, but still fun. The Axl Rose guy was OK but definitely not in the same vocal lead as Axl, who would be very difficult to copy well. He definitely had the look down, though and changed costumes several times during the show, including the kilt and the “Charlie Don’t Surf” shirt. The Slash guy was really good, but again – no one is Slash but Slash, and the differences stood out in places. Some audio problems popped up during some of his killer riffs. I grew up listening to GNR and was much more familiar with their music than that of the other bands. This show was the first and probably the only time I’ll ever hear some of my favorite GNR tunes performed in concert, so I really enjoyed the set despite the few problems.

Bravo to all four bands and to Jack FM for organizing a truly fun rock show.