Monsters on The Mountain invades Pigeon Forge Tennessee with 3 days of Metal October 15-17, 2021

 

 

The anticipation was high for the first Monsters on The Mountain event being held in Pigeon Forge Tennessee as it was being hosted by the same promoter as The Monsters of Rock Cruise.  This was a 3 day long festival of mostly 80’s metal bands with a few newer bands as well. It included tailgating in the parking lot with a live music stage and food. Inside the venue, The Le Conte Center, there were 2 large stages set up side by side with a huge VIP pit and plenty of seating. Vendors were selling all the band merch, candles, cd’s, apparel, and artwork by Brian Wheat, Charlie Benante, Carla Harvey, Mark Weiss and more. 

Day one kicked off with Native Sons. A young rock band from Kentucky promoting their debut album, The Natives Are Restless. With Ashton Blake fronting the band on vocals, this band has been making it’s presence known. 80’s glam metal band, Heaven’s Edge was next to take stage with an all original lineup. They came out blazing, like they had something to prove. This was my first time seeing them play, and I was thoroughly impressed. What a performance!! Mark Evans definitely has the look and voice of a rock star. The guitarist, wearing a CBGB shirt was kicking for the stars. They even played a new song live on stage for the first time, “Had Enough”. This band is worth checking out if they playing are in your area! Keith St. John was next to grace the stage with Kingdom Come, a bluesy rock band from the 80’s. Keith looks and performs on stage like he is still in his 20’s. While playing their hit songs, “Living Out of Touch”, “What Love Can Be”, guitar solos by Danny Stag and Johnny B. Frank, and a drum solo by James Kottak, they kept the crowd on their feet and wanting more! Maryland’s favorite rock band Kix came out like a stick of Dynamite.  They played a nine song set with the amazing Steve Whiteman on vocals, Will Hunt (Evanescense, Slaughter) on Drums, Brian Forsythe and Bob Pare on guitar, Mark Schenker on Bass. Their set rounded out with “Girl Money” and “Cold Blood.” Night Ranger went on  next and kicked butt, as ALWAYS!!! Fantastic showmen with great stage presence and still sounding great. They played a mix of their hits, “Breakout” off their new release ATBPO, and a couple Damn Yankees covers.

The headliner for the evening was Vince Neil. Vince came out singing “Dr. Feelgood.” He looked and sounded better than he has in a while. During the 5th song, “Don’t Go Away Mad,” Vince was walking towards the front of the stage near the side where it was dark and took a bad fall off the stage and in between the speakers. The band continued to play on while the crew came to Vince’s rescue. He was taken to the hospital with possible broken ribs. The band seemed reluctant to continue on as the promoter came on stage and was talking to Dana Strum during “Heaven and Hell.” They played 3 more songs ending with Jeff Blando breaking out the cordless drill for the intro to Van Halen’s “Poundcake”.

 

Night Ranger is:

Jack Blades – Bass, Vocals

Kelly Keagy – Drums, Vocals

Brad Gillis – Lead and Rhythm Guitars

Eric Levy – Keyboards

Keri Kelli – Lead and Rhythm Guitars

Setlist:

  1. Somehow Someway
  2. Four in the Morning
  3. Sing Me Away
  4. Coming of Age(Damn Yankees cover)
  5. Breakout
  6. Night Ranger
  7. High Enough(Damn Yankees cover)
  8. When You Close Your Eyes
  9. Don’t Tell Me You Love Me
  10. Sister Christian
  11. (You Can Still) Rock in America

 

Vince Neil is:

Vince Neil – Vocals

Jeff Blando – Guitar

Dana Strum – Bass

Zoltan Chaney – Drums

Setlist:

  1. Dr. Feelgood (Motley Crue song)
  2. Shout at the Devil (Motley Crue song)
  3. Looks That Kill (Motley Crue song)
  4. Home Sweet Home (Motley Crue song)
  5. Don’t Go Away Mad(Just Go Away) (Motley Crue song)
  6. Whole Lotta Love (Led Zeppelin cover)
  7. Heaven and Hell (Black Sabbath cover)
  8. Live Wire (Motley Crue song)
  9. We Will Rock You (Queen cover)
  10. Poundcake (Van Halen cover)

 

 

Day 2 of the festival kicked off with Rhino Bucket gracing the indoor stage. This was the first show they played since April 22, 2018 at The Rainbow Bar and Grill in West Hollywood California. They played a mix of songs spanning their career.  I stayed for a few songs then took a stroll to the tailgating area to see Vella La Vella.  A young band that pulls up in a car with a drum set mounted in the back seat. They proceed to park in front of the stage with the drummer playing the entire set from inside the car. The other 2 musicians hopped out and walked around the crowd while performing a barrage of cover tunes. Next, I got to see the spectators participate in an axe throwing event hosted by The Axe House of Pigeon Forge.  A short walk back inside provided me with a few acoustic/solo acts. First up was John Corabi. He did a 6 song set of mostly cover songs. John cleared up any rumors that he was working recently with Motley Crue, although he remains friends with Vince Neil. Then was the Jeff Scott Soto and Jason Bieler duo. Their setlist was comprised of Mostly Saigon Kick songs and they kept me laughing in between songs with some comedy. Eddie Trunk, Jeff Keith and Frank Hannon got up to welcome The Pat Travers Band to the stage. They performed mostly original music ending the 10 song set ending with their biggest hit “Boom Boom(Out Go the Lights)”.  Andrew Freeman stepped in on vocals for CJ Snare of Firehouse as he is in recovery from a surgery. Andrew did an excellent job belting out the 11 song set with original members Bill Leverty and Michael Foster, and Allen McKenzie(member since 2004) on Bass.  My favorite Firehouse songs they played were “All She Wrote” and ” Shake and Tumble”.

Winger took the stage at 7pm singing “Midnight Driver of a Love Machine” off of 2014’s Better Days Coming album. They followed this up with 9 more of their most popular songs and a guitar solo. Kip Winger was still sounding as good as ever. With the crowd on their feet and wanting more, they ended the night with “Seventeen”.  Reb Beach is always a favorite and tonight they had Howie Simon filling in on guitar for John Roth as he was out playing with Starship.

I am a bit biased, because Tesla has been my favorite band since the 80’s, but I think their performance at Monsters on The Mountain was my favorite ever!! Their setlist was comprised of songs from approximately 7 of their albums along with a new release, “Cold Blue Steel”. The band was on Fire!!!! Jeff Keith’s vocals were on point. Dave Rude and Frank Hannon on guitars were fantastic. Brian Wheat holding his own on Bass guitar. Troy Luccetta has taken a break from touring and was replaced by “Mild” Steve Brown. After seeing him perform, I am not sure how he got his nickname. They ended their set with “Little Suzi”, a song that many people don’t was originally done by Ph. D.

 

Winger is:

Kip Winger – Lead Vocals, Bass

Reb Beach – Guitar

Rod Morgenstein – Drums

Paul Taylor – Keyboards, Rhythm Guitar

Howie Simon – filling in on Guitar for John Roth

Setlist:

  1. Midnight Driver of a Love Machine
  2. Easy Come Easy Go
  3. Hungry
  4. Down Incognito
  5. Time to Surrender
  6. Miles Away
  7. Headed for a Heartbreak
  8. Can’t Get Enuff
  9. Deal With the Devil
  10. Madalaine
  11. Guitar Solo
  12. Seventeen
  13.  

 

Tesla is:

Jeff Keith – Vocals

Frank Hannon – Guitar

Dave Rude – Guitar

Steve Brown – Drums

Setlist:

  1. Cumin’ Atcha Live
  2. Modern Day Cowboy
  3. Cold Blue Steel
  4. Breakin’ Free
  5. Heaven’s Trail (No Way Out)
  6. Mama’s Fool
  7. Miles Away
  8. Changes
  9. Stir it Up
  10. Thank You (Led Leppelin cover)
  11. Paradise
  12. Rock Me to the Top
  13. What You Give
  14. Call It What You Want
  15. Edison’s Medicine (Man Out of Time)
  16. Love Song
  17. Signs

 

 

Paradise Kitty, (All Female Guns and Roses Tribute Band), opened day three of this monster of a festival. This band knows how kick ass and bring their A-game to the stage musically and performance wise as well.  Jenna Syde used the entire stage running back and forth interacting with all the other members and fans as well. Performing an 11 song set of Guns N’ Roses hit songs, the girls set the bar high for the last day of Monsters on the Mountain. Liliac, a young family band based out of Georgia, fronted by 19 year old Melody hit the stage performing Iron Maiden’s “The Trooper”. They continued on to play 6 more original songs and 4 covers. The crowd absolutely LOVED them!! I heard many people saying that they hope Liliac gets to be on The Monsters of Rock Cruise in February. One fan referred to Liliac as ” The Partridge Family on steroids”.   Black ‘N Blue, with original members Jaime St. James, Pete Holmes and Patrick Young, and newer members Brandon Cook and Doug Rappoport took the crowd by storm playing a mix of their most popular songs with some lesser know songs mixed in. Jaime looked the part with stars and stripes on his pants and a leather vest with his vocals still standing the test of time. Bullet Boys were rocking this monster event with an All-Original lineup. Female fans were overheard excitedly awaiting Jimmy D’Anda’s entrance, wondering what he would be wearing. Marq Torien is a fantastic frontman, running, jumping and dancing about the stage and getting the crowd pumped. Rounding out the band is Mick Sweda on Guitar and Lonnie Vincent on Bass. They rocked the crowd with favorites such as “Hard as a Rock”, The O’Jays cover tune “For the Love of Money”, and “Smooth Up in Ya”. Later in the set, The Paradise Kitty ladies got up on stage to release giant balloons into the crowd to add to the party atmosphere. Vixen was next to hit the stage with Lorraine Lewis, formerly of Femme Fatale, leading with passion in her voice. Roxy, Share, and Britt always performing to the audiences approval while smiling the whole time. You can definitely see how much fun they have together on stage. And Don’t forget Tyson Leslie on Keyboards. This 5th member of Vixen is a master of just about every instrument.

Rounding out the night were Slaughter and Great White. Slaughter is a crowd favorite with original members Mark Slaughter on Vocals, Dana Strum on Bass Guitar, and Blas Elias on Drums. Jeff Blando has been on lead guitar since 1998. The smoke machines were on overdrive as the band took the stage playing “Mad About You”.  Mark Slaughter sounded good, and the band rocked hard to almost all of their popular songs including, “Spend My Life”, “Fly to the Angels”, and “Up All Night”. Also included in their set was a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song”. Legendary rock photographer, Mark Weiss got up on stage to take some pictures of the band. Mark was there promoting his book, “The Decade That Rocked” and greeting fans and signing autographs in the Rock and Roll Marketplace.  Great White played a 9 song set starting with The Angels cover song “Can’t Shake It”. Currently fronted by Mitch Malloy, they went on to play their bluesy style of rock, with their hits “Lady Red Light”, “Save Your Love”, “Rock Me”, and “Once Bitten Twice Shy”. Mitch hits all the notes and has a rock star appearance with his hair blowing in the wind.

 

Slaughter is:

Mark Slaughter – Vocals

Dana Strum – Bass

Jeff Blando – Guitar

Will Hunt – Drums

Setlist:

  1. Mad About You
  2. Burnin’ Bridges
  3. Spend My Life
  4. Immigrant Song (Led Zeppelin cover)
  5. Eye to Eye
  6. The Wild Life
  7. Days Gone By
  8. Real Love
  9. Fly to the Angels
  10. Up All Night

 

Great White is:

Mitch Malloy – Vocals

Audie Desbrow – Drums

Michael Lardie – Guitars, Keyboards

Scott Snyder – Bass

Mark Kendall – Guitars

Setlist:

  1. Cant Shake It (The Angels cover)
  2. Lady Red Light
  3. Big Time
  4. Desert Moon
  5. House of Broken Love
  6. Mista Bone
  7. Save Your Love
  8. Rock Me
  9. Once Bitten Twice Shy (Ian Hunter cover)

 

The inaugural Monsters on the Mountain festival really brought the crowd back to their younger days of Heavy Metal, Rock, Hair Metal, or Glam Metal bands (call it what you want) on stage. From the party in the parking lot, to the Rock and Roll marketplace and merch booth, to the Glam’d out Rock Stars and fans alike, this was not an event to be missed. The good news it that there is already one planned for next August. Rumor has it that it will be at a different venue. But regardless of where it is held, it will be a good time for sure. Hope to see you there

 

 

 

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Music photography is my passion! Live in the moment, Capture the moment.

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