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30 Sep 2016

Kip Winger @Modu

When it was first announced that Kip Winger would be performing two acoustic shows in Greece, the entire Greek hard rock community was counting the days as one can easily understand it’s not that frequent to enjoy so many hard rock shows in Greece, especially of Kip Winger’s level of quality. Add to all these the fact that Kip is the leader and founder of one of the most successful hard rock bands ever and you get the wider picture of those two acoustic events.

 

First on stage, we had the pleasure of experiencing Sleazy Lizards; an acoustic trio that I have never seen or heard of and I must say that they were fantastic! These guys won you over with their songs but mainly with the unparalleled energy that they projected on stage. Especially, the band’s singer Jet Papas was constantly moving around (and down) the stage like Axl Rose used to do in his prime years. From a musical standpoint, I’d say that Sleazy Lizards are somewhere in between the LA sleaze movement if the late 80s and the alternative dawn of the early 90s. Their song “Bahama Mama” could have easily been a Mother Love Bone cut. I can’t wait to see a full set by Sleazy Lizards…keep an eye on them.

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Up next was the Greek outfit of Flying Mercury. The recent line up changes stirred my curiosity as this would be their first show with Jon Soti behind the mic. He did an exceptional job and that was enough for me to appreciate them even more. They had two guest musicians on stage and they even brought on stage their previous singer, John Kalivas, for one of their original numbers (“Our Love Will Never Die”). I must say, though, that I’d rather listen more original songs by Flying Mercury than cover tunes (having said that; their take on Michael Jackson’s classic “Give In To Me” was awesome).

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But the time has come for what we were all been waiting impatiently for…Kip Winger! At 23:20 sharp Kip hits the stage smiling and with an electroacoustic 12-string guitar on his hands ready to unleash all the hits that we grew up with and love so much. For the next 100 minutes, Kip played songs cued from the Winger catalogue (the first three records naturally had the lion’s share) and some deep cuts from his solo albums. At some songs he was accompanied by a Greek percussionist, Stelios Pavlou (who did a brilliant job) while Kip’s friend and collaborator Cenk Eroglu played guitar on a couple of songs. Kip Winger showed perfectly how an acoustic show should be staged because it is not an easy task at all! Being cool on stage, sharing jokes and arranging the songs in such a way that were almost at the same par as the original electric versions, Kip Winger proved what an accomplished and flawless musician he is!

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Needless to say that the crowd was defening during numbers like “Easy Come, Easy Go”, “Can’t Get Enuff”, “Hungry”, “Rainbow In The Rose”, “Madalaine”, “Seventeen” etc. as everybody was screaming their guts out! Although it is literally impossible to pinpoint some highlights of the evening (as the entire acoustic set was a highlight on its own), personally I’d kept the excellent takes on “Blind Revolution Mad”, “Down Incognito”, “Spell I’m Under” and “Who’s the One” from “Pull” (my favorite Winger album), the moment were Kip started playing songs that people asked for and were not initially on the regular set…the classic ballad “Without The Night” was one of them, the touching versions of “Headed For A Heartbreak” and “Miles Away” (on this one Kip invited a girl from the audience for an impromptu duet) and the unbelievable “Deal With The Devil” from the underrated “Karma” album. When Kip made a phone call to Reb Beach the crowd went wild when Reb answered…he was on the van with the rest of the Whitesnake guys. Awesome!

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This was definitely a night to remember and this was definitely a night that we will never forget. Can’t wait for a full blown electric show by Winger…after all, Kip said he’d love to return or even…move to Greece!

Sakis Nikas

 

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