White Lion  - ‘Bang Your Head (festival 2005)’

Released through
Frontiers Records in 2009


THE BAND:
Mike Tramp – vocals
Claus Langeskov – bass
Jamie Law – guitar
Troy Patrick Farrell – drums
Henning Wanna – keyboards

SET LIST:
1.) “Lights N Thunder”
2.) “Hungry”
3.) “Lonely Nights”
4.) “Broken Heart”
5.) “Fight To Survive”
6.) “Little Fighter”
7.) “Living On The Edge”
8.) “Tell Me”
9.) “Wait”
10.) “Radar Love”

BONUS FEATURES:
1.) Lights N Thunder:
Filmed across USA Tour 2005
2.) Interview Xtra’s:
Complete Bang Your Head Interview
3.) Slide Show:


A FIGHT TO SURVIVE: (A short bio)
                After moving from Denmark to New York in 1983, vocalist Mike Tramp met Brooklyn guitarist Vito Bratta and decided to form a band. The two recruited drummer Nicki Capozzi and bassist Felix Robinson (formerly of Angel) and named the group White Lion.  Signed to Elektra Records White Lion recorded their debut album titled, ‘Fight To Survive’ in 1984.  However, Elektra was unhappy with the final recording, and after refusing to release the album, terminated their contract.  Both Capozzi and Robinson soon left the band. Nicki Capozzi was replaced by former Anthrax drummer Greg D'Angelo, and Felix Robinson was replaced by James LoMenzo.
         Early in 1987, the band was signed by Atlantic Records (which ironically is a sister label to Elektra) and on June 21, 1987, their breakthrough album, ‘Pride’, was released. The first single, "Wait", was released on June 1, 1987, but did not make waves for nearly seven months.
        The Pride tour started in July 1987 as White Lion opened for Ace Frehley's 80s band Frehley's Comet. The next year and a half was filled with constant touring, opening for such bands as Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne, Stryper, KISS and in January 1988 White Lion landed the opening slot for AC/DC on their Blow Up Your Video American tour.
       While touring with AC/DC, the Pride album and "Wait" single finally charted, due in no small part to MTV airing the "Wait" music video in regular rotation - nearly seven months after the single's release. "Wait" hit #8 on the singles chart, while Pride hit #11 on the album charts. Pride would remain on the top 200 Billboard album charts for a full year.
       In August 1988, the album's second single "Tell Me" hit #58. Around the time this single was released, White Lion played at the Ritz club in New York City. Like Guns N' Roses, Great White and a few others before them, White Lion's show at the Ritz was filmed and later aired on MTV.
     The Pride album's third single, a gentle acoustic ballad titled "When the Children Cry", made it all the way to #3 with heavy MTV rotation, making Pride one of about 20 hard rock albums to ever have multiple top 10 hits.
     The success of "When the Children Cry" would eventually push sales of Pride over the two million mark. In addition, Vito Bratta was recognized for his instrumental talents by racking up Best New Guitarist awards with both Guitar World magazine and Guitar For The Practicing Musician magazine.
     In the spring of 1989, the Pride tour finally ended, but rather than take a break, they instead chose to record the next album, a decision the group later came to regret due to the effects of fatigue from heavy touring on the final product.
In August 1989, White Lion released their third album, Big Game, a musically eclectic follow-up to Pride that featured the singles "Little Fighter" (which peaked at #52), "Cry for Freedom" (did not chart), and a cover of Golden Earring's "Radar Love" (which peaked at #59). The album quickly went gold, but without a hit single, slowly declined, with a peak of #19 on the album charts.
     After two years of writing and recording, the new album, ‘Mane Attraction’ was released. During the recording sessions for this album, their record company allowed the band to make exactly the album they wanted to. As a result, the album is usually viewed as a mixed effort, where the band is trying to do too many things at once. The album charted at #61. This may also be due to the general public's shifting tastes towards grunge.
      Greg D'Angelo and James LoMenzo left the band soon after the album's release, citing "musical differences", but White Lion carried on with bassist Tommy T-Bone Caradonna and drummer Jimmy DeGrasso (Megadeth, Alice Cooper, Suicidal Tendencies, Y&T, Fiona). After briefly touring in support of ‘Mane Attraction’, Tramp and Bratta decided to call it a day, their last show being held in Boston at the Channel in September 1991.
In 1999 Mike Tramp with new musicians released Remembering White Lion also released as The Last Roar and Ultimate White Lion which featured new versions of some of White Lion's classic songs and then in October 2003, Mike Tramp announced a White Lion reunion with the original line up. This statement was quickly denied by the other former members. Later Tramp said that Vito Bratta wanted nothing to do with a reunion. With summer festivals in Europe already booked, Tramp attempted to put together a "new White Lion" featuring former members James LoMenzo, and Jimmy DeGrasso, along with Warren DeMartini of Ratt. Vito Bratta filed suit claiming partial ownership of the name, and the tour was scrapped. Tramp later revealed that despite his willingness, "There will never be an original White Lion reunion".
     In 2005, with legal battles finally out of the way, Mike Tramp again organized a group of unknown musicians and named the act Tramp's White Lion. 'TWL' (White Lion 2) played White Lion songs, touring and releasing a double-live CD entitled Tramp's White Lion: Rockin' The USA. In November and December 2006, Tramp's White Lion played several dates in Europe including Sweden, Norway, Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark. The UK dates with Crimes of Passion were abandoned due to illness.
     On February 16, 2007, Vito appeared on "The Eddie Trunk" radio show in New York, stating that despite what Mike Tramp said, he had never turned down any offer to reform White Lion or refused a White Lion reunion, stating that what Mike Tramp had said was not true, but, rather, that at the time Mike had approached him, Vito's father was sick and dying and he could not leave him to do a reunion tour at that time. He added that he would still be open to the idea and has not closed the door to returning to the music industry again. Trunk also made it clear that Vito's involvement in the show was something that he had wanted to happen since White Lion first broke up in 1991. Vito took calls and answered questions from fans for almost 3 hours. On Friday April 6 and 7, 2007, at the L'Amours Reunion Shows in New York (the club that made White Lion), Vito made his first public musical appearances at both Friday and Saturday night's shows in over 15 years. Mike Tramp was not present.
     Three weeks later Mike Tramp called the same show from Australia, speaking about Vito and the band's new album, including the tour dates that Tramp's White Lion had recently confirmed. Tramp said that he was thankful that Vito had finally answered fan's questions, the same questions he himself had been bombarded with over the past 15 years. He also stated that he felt uncomfortable answering on Vito's behalf, and that he was upset that Vito had withdrawn himself from the music industry.
     A White Lion Definitive Collection album was released in 2007. Summer of 2007 Tour featuring Tramp's White Lion opening up for Poison and Ratt was canceled after threatened legal action by Bratta caused them to be dropped by the promoter.
     This threatened legal action however did not stop the band from appearing at Rocklahoma in Pryor, Ok on July 13, 2007 with Poison, Ratt, Quiet Riot, Slaughter, Y&T,Gypsy pistoleros, Dirty Penny, Greg Leon Invasion and Zendozer. After this they also toured the US. A new studio album entitled ‘Return of the Pride’ was released on March 14, 2008. The band are currently on a World tour to support the album.
‘Bang Your Head (festival 2005)’: The Review
            The concert was filmed using several cameras from several different angles.  My only complaint with this was the cameraman that filmed Troy (drummer) his angle was pretty high.  Not that I’ve been to film school or have ever filmed a concert, but I have always felt the best angle to shoot drums was from up over just behind the drummers shoulder.  The second complaint is the concert was filmed in only stereo and not 5.1. My last complaint is after every couple of songs they break into an interview session. My problem with this is they show the interview in its entirity on the extras, so they should have should have showed the concert in one complete piece.
            The band opens the show with “Lights And Thunder” taken from the last album before the original White Lion broke up titled, ‘Mane Attraction’ released in July of ’91. Out of the original line-up’s catalog there are a number of songs Mike could have chosen from he picked at least one track from an album that if I’m not mistaken not only went right into the bargain-bin upon its release however I know die-hard White Lion fans that don’t own that CD. (Nothing against Mike, Vito, James or Greg however you can definitely hear the concrete cracking with the band.)  Since I’m on the subject of songs, the setlist Mike chose for the show and or DVD was very well-rounded with songs mainly taken from the bands biggest release ‘Pride’.  One thing I just happened to notice was Jamie was using a mixture of Marshall & 5150 amp heads.  For the ones out there that don’t know the 5150 was created by Edward Van Halen while he was indorsed by Peavey.  This combination of both Marshall & Peavey gives Jamie a great sound.  Jaime does not copy Vito note for note!  Which, for me was great!  I just hate it when a band gets back together with a different set of members and the new members are playing the songs as if they were originally written.  Hell anyone that can read sheet music can do that! At times Jamie’s microphone could have been turned up.  At other times it is not his micing, but his amp stacks are turned down.  I noticed it on the song “Lonely Nights”.  As a longtime White Lion fan who still considers Vito as a guitar virtuoso I can say with all honesty that Jaime plays Vito’s notes with pure respect!
            The next section of the main DVD menu features “Lights N Thunder” filmed across the 2005 United States Tour.  The Interview Xtra’s includes the complete Bang Your Head interview with Mike Tramp.  If you highlight this section but don’t go into it the DVD will go into an Easter Egg.  This Easter Egg consists of two live songs recorded on the USA tour in 2005….One Camera, raw and in your face! “Hungry” – Live @ the Galaxy-Santa Ana, CA & “It’s Over” –Live @ Amos – Charlotte, NC.  The last segment underneath the bonus section includes a slide show.
           This DVD is a definite must have for all die-hard White Lion fans!  However, if you fall into the category like me who thought it would be very difficult for the band to survive without Vito you should not only check this DVD out but also pick up a copy of their new CD title, ‘Return Of The Pride’ because you may be a little surprised at both!