For fans of the gone, but not forgotten 80’s metal scene, Friday night was a trip down memory lane at Cain’s 2nd Stage, aka Bob’s Place.
Dirty Penny, a band that is from Santa Cruz, CA, but for all intents and purposes is more at home in and around the Tulsa area, having played within 150 miles of the area numerous times in the last 4 months. (Rocklahoma, Rock N America, and 2 shows at Cain’s to name a few) Telling the small, but energetic crowd on this night that "Tulsa fans are by far their best fans." A statement that was eaten up by those in attendance.
The night started out with a couple of local bands, Beyond What’s Given from Fort Smith and Firstryke from Tulsa.
BWG is a hardcore band that looked way crowded on the tiny stage that is offered at Bob’s. But when you try to stuff 5 big guys into a very small area it will get tight, especially when one of the guys is in a wheel chair. (Yeah, you read that right, a wheelchair.) They did a fair job, but struggled to connect with the audience until they played set closer, "Jenny (867-5309)" again, you read that right, the hardcore version of the 80’s song that will get in your head and not leave. This was well received by the crowd, but left this writer shaking my head and kind of laughing at the same time.
Firstryke is up next and bring an interesting look and feel to the stage. The band dates back almost 30 years, but doesn’t really have a lot to show for it. 1 album and lots of shows. Stating that they opened for Metallica in 1986 in Cain’s Main Ballroom. Which was confirmed by their Facebook page. My question is what happened to these guys? If you have that kind of shot and network base ability, how can you not make it big?
All that aside, Firstryke does a good job of getting the crowd into their set and keeping their interest. Lead singer Ric Adams most definitely channels an inner Kevin Dubrow of Quiet Riot, a little over-the-top and showy, but with good showmanship. One wonders what if? Playing storyline metal the likes of Ronnie James Dio, with images of darkness and fantasy. From set opener, "Just a Nightmare" to closer and Fleetwood Mac/Judas Priest cover ""The Green Manalishi" they kept the fans wanting more.
Dirty Penny owns the night though. With more energy than can really be contained on the tiny stage and enough sex-fueled rock to light up the Sunset Strip. These guys kill it from the word go. I was not able to see them at Rocklahoma or Rock N America and also missed out on their previous shows at Cain’s, so I was glad that I got to see this one. Having heard about them and listened to them through YouTube and Pandora radio they live up to the hype and take their music to another level live. It is a gritty, dirty throwback to 80’s heyday music. Lots of movement and theatrics on stage with a youthful spirit, but polished enough to hang with the big boys. Their riffs, chants and onstage antics grab you by the hair and make you bang along with them. It is infectious and appealing.
If you have not seen Dirty Penny, and are a fan of the 1980’s and very early 90’s metal sound, you owe it yourself to give them your time. I would suggest a bigger venue where you can take in a full stage experience, but for the beginner DP fan, this worked very well.
Photos by: Kevin Pyle