Firehouse Loves You: Smaller Hair, Same Big Notes
“Firehouse loves you!” shouted C.J. Snare from the little stage at McGuffy’s House of Rock in Dayton, Ohio.
Firehouse played Dayton Aug. 22 — their first pass through Ohio in quite some time. And it was nothing but the hits for the all ages show. They played for about 50 minutes, cramming charting singles, obscure tracks, a guitar solo and drum feature into the set.
You probably remember Firehouse as the band with the massive hair and the video on MTV for ‘Don’t Treat Me Bad.’ Yes sir, that’s them — but now the band is all grown up. There’s no more massive hair, and there have been quite a few more singles since that first foray into Billboard territory. There was also one significant lineup change: Bassist Perry Richardson left the band, and now Allen McKenzie fills the role.
Vocalist C.J. Snare is still able to hit the exact same notes as he could in 1991. On songs like ‘Love of a Lifetime,’ ‘When I Look Into Your Eyes’ and ‘I Live My Life for You’ this is especially important. Underrated guitarist Bill Leverty used his down time between songs to piddle around on his strings, showing his craft. Plus, nearly all Firehouse songs have a guitar solo of some sort to illustrate Leverty’s talent. He was especially on fire during ‘All She Wrote.’
A lot of drummers twist and twirl sticks while behind the kit. Michael Foster went one further and used his feet to play cymbals. By the time the show was over and the band took a final bow at the edge of the stage, Foster was visibly exhausted and covered in sweat. Needless to say, his drumming was quite a workout. Most important, he was able to keep correct time with his hands — and feet. The crowd loved it. People old enough to be your parents were clamoring for a pick or set of sticks.
As a special treat, Firehouse let the audience choose two songs in the set. A cover of Judas Priest‘s ‘You’ve Got Another Thing Comin” won one of these coveted spots. And in case that offering sounds a little strange, it makes a bit more sense when you see that Firehouse recently contributed to a Priest tribute album. And for what it’s worth, Snare sounds exactly like 80s-era Halford.
Firehouse are continuing their club tour through November.