Dokken (Live… ish Review) Neptune Blue (Live and CD Review)

Neptune Blue is great. (Teaser! More on that later)

So I decided to take my amazing rock drummer 8 year old son Ray to see Dokken at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills.

It’s an great old theatre with superb acoustics etc. . It holds 1,549 People… That October Saturday night there were 53 in attendance… Ouch.

Dokken had some great pop metal hits in the 1980′s but clearly their nostalgic draw is not enough to bother in L.A. in 2017. Stick to the 80′s nostalgia festivals would be my advice.

All of that is all of that, what is truly sad is that you NEVER MAKE EXCUSES, NEVER! Just give us what we paid for. DIDN’T HAPPEN.

Don Dokken with the original drummer (who is too old to seem so wired ;) …)  made excuses, complained and phoned it in. The only one who played with any gusto was the guitar player who shreds (I think he used to be the bands lawyer).

After their set I asked my son what he thought. “They have some good songs but their lazy”. CORRECT.

(1 out of 5 J.S.L.)


Let’s go back to the opening band Neptune Blue. As I looked around at the empty house and thought to myself I hope this opening band is not too loud and only plays twenty minutes a strange feeling came over me. I turned to my son Ray and said “hey maybe the opening band will be great”.

Lucky Guess?

Neptune Blue took the stage, the singer Chris Hodges looked around, smiled and said “Wow this place is gorgeous, there are not a lot of people but were gonna play like this place is packed!”

PROMISE DELIVERED. –  By the start of the 2nd song I knew I was breathing that rarefied air when you find something you had forgotten… A new band to be a fan of!

Incredibly tight musicianship,  well crafted songs with hooks galore and a charismatic singer with a “live” voice the likes of which I have seen maybe a dozen times in my many years in rock and roll.

For having only 53 people in the house we were all up and rocking, that is something an opening band has to earn in a very short amount of time.

Hugo Hoeksma – Guitar (European Mastermind?)/ Andrew James – Bass /  Zak St. John – Drums / Chris Hodges – Vocals / I think there was/is a fifth member but he’s not in the press kit (That’s on you guys) The reason I put the band members names up is that this is a group. Chris is amazing but the whole package makes sense to me.

Neptune Blue has an EP at least which was available at the show for purchase (Plus they gave out a bunch!) I paid for mine even though I had caught it when thrown from the stage. I paid because they earned my respect. RESPECT! The CD is super produced yet somehow not so slick that it bugs me. Heartbeat is a Neptune Blue video on YouTube so check it out although for my money the song Blue is the single.

I see the band has a show coming up in L.A. with Steel Panther, I plan to see them again but I would rather run into a brick wall then intentionally go to a Steel Panther show.

Speaking to the Owners of The Canyon (The Saban, The Rose Etc.) I see Styx is coming in Jan and that will be sold out so… How about giving Neptune Blue a shot at an actual packed house?

Speaking to the touring bands who read my blog (You know who you are) How about bringing along some healthy competition… it’s good for you and will push you to keep firing! It will also give you the opportunity to help the rock community stay alive.

Thank you Neptune Blue, my son Ray and I are huge fans. Way to show up and show out!

Will hear you in T.V. and Movie Soundtracks and of course I will see you live again when I can.

(5 out of 5 – J.S.L.)








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