It’s Saturday, April 26th, nearly six months since the Scraps last rocked the Wolf Den and metal fans are out in full force and back for their fix. You won’t see me refer to “the New England crowd” this time, though. We’ve got friends from Maine to Texas and everywhere in between with us tonight, and it’s another full house here at Mohegan Sun. The customary mile-long line is in place long before doors open and sound check promises the anticipated best of the best, as well as the sounds of Jimi Jamison, Jeff Scott Soto, and surprise guest, Firehouse’s CJ Snare. While this is the first time they’ll perfom together on this stage, these guys are not strangers to the Scrap family, all of them, at one time or another, jumping in for events like Nashville’s Tin Pan South Festival, MelodicRockFest, and the Scrap Metal Jingle Bell Rock Party and fans here tonight have good reason to be as pumped as they are…This show will kick some serious rock n’ roll ass!!  So c’mon….

Six deep around the stage, the crowd’s all over ‘Up All Night’ with Mark to start things off, and the guys are joined by Slaughter drummer, Tim DiDuro, keyboardist Tom Rogers, and guitarist Chris Green (UK-based, though according to CJ, the accent’s fake and he’s really from Jersey!)

Crowd volume’s crankin’ up even higher for ‘Love And Affection’, and the “Slaughter” continues with ‘Burnin’ Bridges’. The Nelson boys are back up next with their classic ‘More Than Ever’, and no Scrap (or Slaughter) show would be complete without Mark’s dedication to those who have given for our country with ‘Fly To The Angels’.

Matt and Gunnar take over on vocals again for ‘After The Rain’ (yeah, flawless…had to be said..again!), and CJ Snare, who flew in from Japan just hours earlier shows no signs of jet lag as he takes the stage with an Eric Martin-ish* energy (if you’ve seen Eric live, I don’t have elaborate) to kick off the first of the Firehouse tunes with ‘Love Of A Lifetime’.

Jimi Jamison joins us next with a beautiful performance of Vital Signs ballad, ‘The Search Is Over’ and a promise of more Survivor on the way, and Jeff Scott Soto picks it up from there (if you haven’t heard these two guys live, you do not know what you’re missing!) for a set of Journey classics opening with  ‘Who’s Cryin’ Now’. Wolf Den’s staff’s joining in with the rest of us for ‘Don’t Stop Believin’, ‘Anyway You Want It’, and ‘Separate Ways’ and CJ jumps back in for Firehouse faves ‘All She Wrote’, ‘ ‘Don’t Treat Me Bad’ and ‘Reach For The Sky’. Is this a hell of a set list, or what?  Jimi’s got the mic again next,which he’s more than willing to share with the front row, for more Survivor including ‘I Can’t Hold Back’, ‘High On You’ and, of course, ‘Eye Of The Tiger’ (admit it, even if you weren’t into movie soundtracks back in the day, you had the Rocky ones!).

Pretty well rounded show, but the boys aren’t done with us yet. The smokin’ Scrap version of ‘Tie Your Mother Down’ has tonight’s all-star ‘cast’ onstage together and JSS back on vocals, with an encore of ‘Another One Bites The Dust’. The night wraps up with the usual meet and greet as long as the show with band members ditching the tables to go out through the crowd and hang with everyone. There’s the usual way, and there’s the Scrap way!

So that’s the deal…another chapter in the Scrap experience. Eventually I’ll have enough of these to write the book…The Offical ScrapBook?? Hmmm…

If you want to see these guys in your area, stop by their myspace page, click on the ‘Demand It’ banner and give them a shout…they’re listening!

As always, we’d like to thank everyone in and associated with Scrap Metal for their ongoing support of Blast Magazine, and also Mark, Carol, and the incredible staff at the Wolf Den who make the room one of our favorite places to cover shows.


*Eric Martin-ish…my dictionary contribution for the week!….Eric and Kelly, we missed you! Can’t wait to see you back soon!