Sebastian Bach @ Starland Ballroom

SAYREVILLE, NJ—Former Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach returned to New Jersey to perform for the first time since Hurricane Irene washed his Middletown, NJ, home away in her wrath. It was a bittersweet return home for one of rock’s most prominent singers and his solo band.

The night began with newcomer and full-on hottie Natasha Komis and her band, which featured Jimmy Forest from the now defunct Beatrix Kiddo on rhythm guitar. It was good to see that Jimmy was still rocking it. Natasha, whose black outfit seemed like it was painted on her body, tore through songs like “Party Of The Year” and “Glam Rocks.” She really had no problem keeping the crowd, who was still filing in, interested with her Joan Jett-esque vocals. Up next were North Jersey favorites, Sykohed, which featured my bro, Rob Gonzo, on vocals. Sykohed might’ve been a little too heavy for this Sebastian Bach crowd, but they got through it with the crowd drooling for more. After Sykohed let the bodies hit the floor, some old friends of mine, Knucklebone, hit the stage. I remembered playing with these guys when they were Jersey Gypsy. Looks like they got their shit together, as they really got the crowd riled up with songs like “Want Some More,” “Chain of Confusion” and the crowd favorite, “Last Call for Alcohol!”

After a short break, Sebastian Bach’s band took the stage, consisting of drummer Bobby Jarzombek, bassist Rob DeLuca, guitarist Johnny Chromatic and lead guitarist Nick Sterling, They ripped right into the title track to Skid Row’s sophomore CD, Slave To The Grind, and out came Sebastian Bach running to the front of the stage with about as much energy as he had when he was still a kid in Skid Row. From an old Skid Row fan, “Slave To The Grind” sounded amazing! Almost as if the real Skid Row was on that stage! Though, young guitarist Nick Sterling was having technical issues with his instrument throughout the night, Sebastian and company ripped through some brand new songs off of Baz’s new CD, Kicking And Screaming, which in my opinion, might be Sebastian’s best CD since departing from Skid Row.

They blasted through songs like “Kicking And Screaming,” “My Own Worst Enemy,” “Tunnel Vision,” which was written with Rob Zombie guitarist John 5, and when it came to the ballad “I’m Alive,” Sebastian screamed, “Fuck you, Irene!” He also joked that if you see a Kiss pinball machine floating by, it’s his!

Sebastian’s ass-kicking set also included songs from his Angel Down CD like “(Love Is) A Bitchslap,” “Stabbin’ Daggers” and “Stuck Inside,” where Sebastian teased about opening for Guns ‘N’ Roses since “Stuck Inside” was the song that Axl Rose co-wrote for the CD. The highlight of the night for me was hearing all of the Skid Row classics like “Here I Am,” “Piece Of Me,” “18 And Life,” “I Remember You,” “Youth Gone Wild” and, of course, “Monkey Business.”

I have to say, though, without disrespecting anyone in Sebastian’s solo band, because they were great, I would do anything to see a Skid Row reunion! After seeing some YouTube videos of Johnny Sollinger (Skid Row’s current singer) singing these songs, there’s no comparison! Though, I’ve read it will never happen because these guys genuinely dislike each other, we can always dream, right? I wish these guys would just wake up for the sake of their FANS!