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Concert Review: Dokken / Lincoln, RI

Twin River Casino
Lincoln RI
April 9, 2010

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 

Reviewed by:  Roger Scales

Twin River Casino
Lincoln RI
April 9, 2010

Set List:

Just Got Lucky
The Hunter
Kiss of Death
Dream Warriors
This Fire
Into The Fire
Breaking the Chains
Alone Again
Too High To Fly
It’s Not Love
Tooth and Nail
In My Dreams

One of the most difficult things to do in life is stop doing anything you love and enjoy.  I hated to see Bobby Orr retire and stop playing hockey.  I hated to see Eric Carr stop playing drums and leave KISS because he was ill and could no longer perform.  Now I hate to admit to this but one of my true heroes in rock, Don Dokken, can no longer sing live anymore.  The saddest part of this is that he is not retiring and will continue to charge folks to see the band!!  I have not been so bored at a show in a very very long time.  A tired set list performed by a tired band equals disaster. 

Don has always surrounded himself with quality band members and this current line -up is no exception.  Guitarist Jon Levin was without question the highlight of the evening.  Solid from the first note of “Just Got Lucky” right to the end with ”In My Dreams”.  If I had to pick from the lot of great shredders that have replaced George Lynch (not an easy task mind you) in this band I think Jon closely resembles his style better than any of them.  Is he a better player than Reb Beach or John Norum or Alex De Rosso?   I think it’s more a question of a better fit in the band at this point in time.  Bass player Sean McNabb was also solid in his efforts adding some key backing vocals when needed..and they were needed often trust me.  I have always like Wild Mick Brown and his approach to a gig – play hard and have fun.  He did but his constant chants to the crowd of “Get Wild” or “Get Loud” were just so cliché and stale it was like listening to Albert Gore talk about Global Warming.  Enough we get it.

My biggest problem with Dokken is their set list.  Even before Don lost his range they always seemed to stick to safe ground with their song selection each night and never gave you anything rare interesting or different from one tour to the next.   I understand that when a new album comes out you don’t want to play a lot of songs the fans are not familiar with but to ignore newer material completely is just plain bad business.  Nothing played from Shadowlife (1997), Erase The Slate (1999), Long Way Home (2002) or Hell To Pay (2004) and only one song each from Dysfunctional (1995) and Lightning Strikes Again (2008).  Now granted they have a new Greatest Hits 2 coming out soon and the bulk of that material is rerecorded versions of songs off the earlier albums but maybe you could mentioned that once or twice during the show.  Have it for sale in the merchandise area?     Give the fans a nugget of something special during the show.  Don maybe you could play something off Up from the Ashes (1990) or Solitary (2008)-  your two solo efforts.  Play Wooden Jesus, a song you had written with J. Russell and M. Lardie from Great White that was recorded for Great White’s 1999 album Can’t Get There From Here.   It’s the 25th anniversary of Under Lock and Key, arguably your best selling and sounding album, play it from beginning to end in order.  In other words, give the fans something special so that they keep coming back.  Based on what I witnessed I certainly won’t be anytime soon.

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6 Responses to “Concert Review: Dokken / Lincoln, RI”
  1. Pudge says:

    Sad but True…

  2. ZjC says:

    No Jeff Pilson, and No Reb or No Lynch = NO DOKKEN. Jeff Pilson always saved Don live. Don has been struggling since 1998. The last show I can remember Don not “hacking” a song was 1997 in support of Shadow Life. When Pilson and Beach left Dokken in 2001 I was all done with Dokken. Even if Lynch and Pilson come back I would probably pass on seeing Dokken live, I’d buy the CD but to go see Don butcher the same old songs is not my bag of chips. Great honest review! Hat’s off to an honest fan who speaks the truth as difficult as it is to do.


  3. Pudge says:

    Erase the slate is one under-appreciated CD. I listened to it last week for the first time in a few years, forgot how great it is, what a solid CD!!

  4. Joe says:

    Don Dokken may tout sobriety, but he still drinks and smokes like a chimney. He went through a rehab program a couple years back, but I think it only kept him off painkillers. He’s been drinking and smoking on stage since late ’08 again and it’s really messed his voice up. Aside from losing the piercing high screams around ’95, Don maintained a lot of his range until the early ’00s. It’s just gotten worse and worse since then. By ’07, his entire upper range was scratchy. He salvaged it for a short period of sobriety on the Poison tour in ’08, but now it’s completely gone. Time to either sing only adult contemporary or hang it up for good, Don. Or, ya know, quit those nasty habits and see if you can at least keep what you have…and possibly gain back some of what you once had. I think it’s possible, but not for much longer.

  5. Padraic says:

    ZjC ~ That’s not really true; he lost his REALLY high notes around 2001, but he’s sang pretty well live (hit and miss … many shows very well) until about 2007 .. he was terrible that year … As is also stated he got a lot back, for a bit, in 2008 – but then decided he just didn’t care anymore and drank and smoke and was TERRIBLE through 2009 … Haven’t heard many clips from 2010 but I heard from someone he just a month or so ago quit drinking and smoking (much), or is trying too. He’ll never be like he used to be, but that doesn’t mean that’s not a worthwhile idea. There are other guys from the hard rock era who sing the high stuff pretty good still – Kip Winger sings good, albeit live he tunes down a 1/2 or whole step {that’s just good for longevity, for all these guys}, so does Vince Neil sing well live, and powerfully (when he’s sober/not hungover) … Jani Lane still sounds really good, and a lot like the CD (DRFSR, Cherry Pie or Dog Eat Dog) (again, when he’s sober) … speaking of him his life is in a whole heap of trouble right now …. Anyway I hope what I heard about Don is true … with the voice it is possible to lose it, and get some of it back again. Unless you’re Whitney Houston, who did just waayyyy to many drugs


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