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The Boardwalk, Sacramento, California

Tony Conley

tony conley

george lynch

Keith St John saved the night. A last minute addition to Lynch's mob, St John stepped in and did a great job in an otherwise extremely lacklustre night at The Boardwalk in Sacramento.

In what seems to have become a recurring theme George Lynch again found himself without a lead singer on the eve of a tour. Whether Tad Gonzales walked, or was shown the door, no one seems to know, but regardless of the details, it certainly doesn't look good, and it doesn't make for great rock and roll.

It wasn't that long ago that original Lynch Mob vocalist Oni Logan bailed on the band just hours before a flight, and had to be replaced by LA veteran Chaz West. It begs a few questions, but first, some praise for Keith St John.

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St John normally fronts Burning Rain, the long running side project of Whitesnake guitarist Doug Aldrich - now that's how it reads for the press, but Burning Rain is actually a very strong entity of its own, and their 2013 album, 'Epic Obsession' rocked as hard as anything released last year.

On this evening, St John stepped up and essentially pulled a performance that would otherwise have been a snooze and made it a rock show. Mind you, George Lynch played great guitar, as always, but the band seemed under rehearsed and I sense no chemistry between its members. This appeared to be West Coast cash run, so maybe the title 'mob' does fit in a sense?

George Lynch is soon to be making big news with his new band, KXM, which includes King's X legend dUg Pinnick, and Korn drummer Ray Luzier, and he looks healthy and happy, so I think this jaunt might be excused on some level, but I'm not thrilled to have spent my own money to see this show.

Sure, George played great, and Keith St John put up a tremendous effort, but this never looked like a band on this night. Arrangements weren't always tight, and Lynch and St John weren't exactly engaging one another. Thankfully there was enough old catalog material to keep the fans satisfied, but there was none of the fist pumping sing-a-longs that we saw here last month with Michael Schenker's Bridge The Gap tour.

KXM will do Lynch a world of good, and while it won't be a full-time band, it will allow him to re-solidify his place as a bonafide guitar god, and hopefully it will give him some time to re-think where he's going and what he's doing with his solo career. No guitar God is an island, God knows we've learned that from Malmsteen, and Lynch needs a solid partner.

He's went back and forth for years with original Lynch Mob vocalist Oni Logan, and if they could see eye to eye a reunion would be welcome, but regardless of who fronts George's next band, it has to be a true partnership. It's gotten too hard to make a buck in this game to think that you can throw a rag tag team together and tour more than once.

Fans don't have the money they once had, and they are more careful about where they spend what they do have. I heard too many comments as I walked out that there was some disappointment in this evening's performance - sure, half the crowd thought the show just great, but that's a given you can't depend on.

Maybe the best way to frame this would be to say that Keith St John stepped in at the last moment and did a fantastic job of making this look and sound like a professional top-rate tour, and George Lynch played, well, he played like George Lynch. However, I don't think anyone is helped by peddling bullshit.

There's no question, but that if Lynch takes a bit of time and care, he'll be back and better than ever the next time his Lynch Mob makes an appearance, and if nothing else the world has a new rock star in Keith St John. St John's pop star good looks and melody filled vocals would work well with Lynch's hard edged rock, so who knows what happens next? My assumption is that it will outshine this evening at The Boardwalk, because this was not the great show it should have been.

Time will tell, but my prediction is that KMX will ignite new fire in Lynch's heart, and the legendary six-stringer will be back stronger than ever the next time around. Everyone can have a rough tour, it builds character, right?

Rock Ain't Near Dead, nor is George Lynch - the man was playing great under what was not apparently an ideal situation, and I'm looking forward to many more years of Mr Scary.

See - I didn't even mention his old band, which did supply the hits on this night and saved the band's fans from disappointment. Maybe George should give Don a call...




Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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