Blog,  Concerts

Donnie Iris & The Cruisers/The Vindys Concert Review

My girlfriend Mariah and I went to see Donnie Iris & The Cruisers, at The Bluestone in Columbus, OH Saturday of April 6.

Opening the show was a band called The Vindys, from Youngstown, OH.

Such a great band.  Everyone kicked serious butt.

The singer, Jackie Popovec, is PHENOMENAL.  She can sing anything and it will sound great.

The band, along with Popevec, includes guitarists John Anthony and Rick Deak, bassist Brendan Burke, drummer Owen Davis, keyboardist Nathan Anthony, trumpet player Kyle O’Donnell, saxophone player Garrett Kuchmaner, and trombone player Brian Mayle.

They have been around for 10 years and I must say I am very impressed with this band.  

They played a mix of originals and covers, including a great version of the Black Sabbath classic “War Pigs”.  

Great stuff.

OK to the headliner:  Donnie Iris & The Cruisers.

Admittedly, I was initially going to this show because my girlfriend really likes this band and wanted me to go too.  I was fine with going, but I was not super familiar with their music, I’m sad to say.  But I did my homework and listened to some of their albums and now I love them.  So then I was more excited and now I’m glad I went.

Donnie Iris is 81 years old, just got over cancer (on stage he called this the “Fuck cancer tour”), and he has more energy than I may ever have. 

He really gets into it.  Occasionally he sat on a stool, but I don’t blame him because the energy he was giving was a lot. 

And vocally, he is as great as he was over 40 years ago.  He gives it his all on stage.

Before The Cruisers, he was in Wild Cherry, who had the big hit “Play That Funky Music”.  He was also in a band called The Jaggerz, who had a hit with the song “The Rapper”.

The Cruisers played both of these songs at this show, but mostly, it was their songs they played.  Such a great set of songs, including their hits “Ah! Leah!” and “Love Is Like A Rock”.

The band, with Donnie on vocals and some guitar, includes multi-instrumentalist Mark Avsec (who was also in Wild Cherry with Donnie), lead guitarist Marty Lee Hoenes, bassist Paul Goll, and drummer Kevin Valentine.

Being the KISS fan I am, I know of Kevin’s drumming on their album Psycho Circus (he played drums on all songs but 1 on the album) and Revenge (he played drums on one song on that album).

Great great band fronted by an amazing singer/frontman.

Stay cancer free Donnie!!!!!  And keep on rocking!!!!!!!

Donnie Iris & The Cruisers Set List:

  1. Agnes
  2. That’s The Way Love Ought To Be
  3. Do You Compute?
  4. Tough World
  5. Sweet Merilee
  6. Pretender
  7. This Time It Must Be Love/Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)/Another One Bites The Dust (Queen cover)
  8. Play That Funky Music (Wild Cherry cover)
  9. Minnie The Moocher (The Ho De Ho Song)-Cab Calloway cover
  10. Ridin’ Thunder
  11. Ei Ei Ei O Polka (Frankie Yankovic cover)
  12. Love Is Like A Rock
  13. Ah! Leah!
  14. The Rapper (The Jaggerz cover)/Hush (Joe South cover, although they covered Deep Purple’s version of it)
  15. With A Little Help From My Friends (The Beatles cover, although they covered Joe Cocker’s version of it)

The Vindys Set List:

  1. Intro/Bugs
  2. Don’t Tell Me Just Love Me
  3. Save Me
  4. Misery
  5. Morning Light
  6. Bang
  7. Chasin/War Pigs (Black Sabbath cover)
  8. If I Want

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Video Gallery (click on thumbnail to play video)

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